Inside Elite Gymnastics' Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders, and Elusive Olympic Dreams
On Sale: April 8, 2008
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The true story of the 1986 U.S. National Gymnastics
champion whose lifelong dream was to compete in the
Olympics, until anorexia, injuries, and coaching abuses
nearly destroyed her
Fanciful dreams of gold medals and Nadia Comaneci led
Jennifer Sey to become a gymnast at the age of six. She was
a natural at the sport, and her early success propelled her
family to sacrifice everything to help her become, by age
eleven, one of America’s elite, competing at prestigious
events worldwide alongside such future gymnastics’
luminaries as Mary Lou Retton.
But as she set her sights higher and higher—the senior
national team, the World Championships, the 1988 Olympics—
Sey began to change, putting her needs, her health, and her
well-being aside in the name of winning. And the adults in
her life refused to notice her downward spiral.
In Chalked Up Sey reveals the tarnish behind her gold
medals. A powerful portrait of intensity and drive, eating
disorders and stage parents, abusive coaches and
manipulative businessmen, denial and the seduction of
success, it is the story of a young girl whose dreams would
become eclipsed by the adults around her. As she recounts
her experiences, Sey sheds light on the destructiveness of
our winning-is-everything culture where underage and
underweight girls are celebrated and on the need for
balance in children’s lives.
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