In the Water They Can't See You Cry: A Memoir
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In the Water They Can't See You Cry: A Memoir

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  777 ratings  ·  127 reviews
In this candid and ultimately uplifting memoir, Olympic medalist Amanda Beard reveals the truth about coming of age in the spotlight, the demons she battled along the way, and the newfound happiness that has proved to be her greatest victory.

At the tender age of fourteen, Amanda Beard walked onto the pool deck at the Atlanta Olympics carrying her teddy bear, Harold, and l...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Touchstone Books
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Darby Douglas
I wrote an essay about how Amanda Beard was my hero in fifth grade. I wanted to be just like her; dominating the Olympics at the age of fourteen as a breaststroker. And reading this book now, I have something else to admire her for. She is an inspiration to anyone who's battled inner demons or who has suffered the early monring stress of being a swimmer. (Role models don't get any better than that!)
Alissa
“All swimming meets are boring. Even the Olympics,” says Amanda Beard in her recently released memoir “In the Water They Can’t See You Cry.” While Beard does recount her experiences at four past Summer Olympics, the main part of this compelling book is about her struggles with cutting and bulimia. I had intended only to skim the book as I reviewed it for this column; however her story of struggling and overcoming is so engaging I looked up two hours later having read the entire book! As a child...more
Maureen Timerman
This is a look into the life of a four time Olympic Athlete. She really bares her soul, and the pain of growing up with a Learning Disability. At first she seems to keep her inner demons under control, and is a fish in the water. We journey with her through all aspects of her life, some good and some so very hard. We go with her through her difficult High School experience, suffering from a type of Dyslexia, and getting relief and achievement in the pool.
I loved how her Dad seem to cherish her,...more
Kelly
The memoir of Amanda Beard is a page turner and while it was completely open and honest I still felt distance from her. Almost as if she fears what the reader will think. She let us in but, I felt she was still holding back. This is also how she lived day to day never one to talk out her issues. Finally in the end (the last few chapters) you can almost see the wall come down as she heals.
Amazing that you can appear to have it all and have nothing at the same time. Be such a likeable person but...more
Paul Pessolano
“in the water they can’t see you cry” by Amanda Beard with Rebecca Paley, published by Touchstone Books.

Category – Memoir

Most of us remember Amanda Beard from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. She was the cute fourteen year old who won two silver medals and one gold medal.

None of us were aware of what it took for her to get there and the consequences that plagued her due to her youth and notoriety.

Amanda was just having fun in 1996, but that all turned dark when she became a fourteen year old celebrity...more
Melanie
I give Amanda Beard credit for sharing her story but I felt the memoir read more like a diary entry of bad relationships and the swimming was an after thought. She talks about swimming in the very beginning of the book when she was young and how it shaped her, but really the insight into to her childhood swimming is about the extent of her delving into her swimming life. She divulges that she was bulimic and cutting herself, but most of the time it reads: Oh and by the way, I was still cutting m...more
Amy Moritz
Let me say this, I didn't know how messed up Amanda Beard was. Really, I mean that as a compliment. Because from my view as a fan (and a person who interviewed and met her once) she seemed perfect, charmed and slightly aloof. This was a powerful memoir of a female athlete who had success early and sustained it, but with difficulty. She reveals her inner demons, mostly in the form of self-doubt and body issues. I never would have thought that the famed and celebrated Olympic swimmer who posed in...more
Naomi
I have to be really honest, I was disappointed with this book. When I saw Ms. Beard on Dr. Phil, I thought this book was going to be a "I made it through the rain" type of book and lessons learned for our young women who are under a ton of pressures for multiple reasons. It wasn't. Instead, I found a really discombobulated book that rarely touched on deep emotions, but at other times, was incredibly superficial in its' presentation. I think that Ms. Beard has the potential to serve as a role mod...more
Kc
Since a young age, Amanda Beard has been one of my swimming idols, and I always looked up to her as a swimmer. After reading her memoir and learning about the hardships she has had to overcome, I now look up to her as a person as well. She had to deal with her parents' divorce at an early age and escape emotionally abusive relationships, but what really hit home for me was how she dealt with her low self-esteem in the years after her first Olympics. I completely empathized with her need for rele...more
Meggen
This book made me very sad to read. Amanda, an Olympic swimmer and winner of several medals in her 5 appearances in the games, writes candidly about her life and struggles. The same intensity which drove her to win in the pool also drove her reckless lifestyle as a self-proclaimed "adrenalin junkie." She is frank about her drug and alcohol use, unhealthy/dysfunctional relationships with family members and lovers, body image issues, bulimia, cutting, and depression. Anyone who has struggled with...more
Corinne
Do you know Amanda Beard? If you watched the 1996 Olympics the way I did, you would know her - the 14 year old swimmer who ended up on the medal stand three times. This book is her story - her journey as a swimmer and as the girl BEYOND the swimmer. Open and sometimes brutally honest, Amanda takes us behind the scenes at the Olympics, at the training pool and in her private life.

My daughter actually checked this out at the library, but she didn't have a chance to read it before heading to camp...more
Chelsea
Amanda Beard's memoir of her life in, and out, of a swimming pool is one that I feel all adolescent females (and males, for that matter) should take time to read. She shares her struggles with body image, abusive relationships, and depression, becoming a role model and voice for those who are suffering from the same issues and scared to reach out. Although from our couches and computer chairs she seemed to live a perfect life, much more was going on under the surface. It was eye opening to learn...more
Brittany
Sep 07, 2012 Brittany rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Olympic fans / athletes
How I Came To Read This Book: While doing research on Olympian books awhile back, I came across Amanda Beard's memoir. Although I didn't know much about her other than recognizing her name, I was curious to read up on another sport, since my main focus was gymnastics.

The Plot: Amanda Beard attended her first Olympics in 1996 at the insanely young (and naive) age of fourteen. The book details the events in her life that led her to that moment, as well as the years afterward spent mentally and ph...more
DW
Jun 16, 2013 DW rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sports
I wasn't going to read this book because it sounded awfully depressing ... but then I wanted a fast read and this fit the bill. I finished it in less than 24 hours.

I thought this book would be exactly like other biographies I've read of other female athletes (like Chalked Up and Pretty Good For A Girl). It was similar (talent at young age, life-consuming training, family issues, wins, losses, problems leaving the sport, marriage, children). What made it different was the extent of her family iss...more
Shalisha
I have no idea what made me pick up this book - could be because I remember seeing her swim as a 4 year old. I also remember the next time I saw her swim - something about the way her coy smile and piercing blue eyes when she looked up realized she did well.

Reading the snyopsis of her book, I was kind of drawn to experience her stuggles with her anger and or emotional issues. (could be because I haven't seen a lifetime movie in quite some time) At any rate, great story of struggle, strife and ov...more
Darcy
I really liked this one. I was clueless that Amanda went through so much and was so insecure. She was brutally frank with her life this far, amazing considering that often she didn't portray herself in a good light. It seems like she is in a good place right now with her life, one can only hope that she stays there.
Leah Hortin
3 1/2 stars but I'm feeling generous so I'll round up. As far as athlete memoirs go, this was pretty well written. I almost wonder if she had a ghost writer, mostly because she divulges that she has mild dyslexia and always struggled in school and with reading. Going through the book, I thought that she was incredibly self aware and sounded like perhaps she'd been through a great deal of therapy. This turns out to be accurate. I respect her for her journey and seeking help though many times I wa...more
Jennifer
it is amazing how people seem so perfect on the outside when they are dying on the inside. beautifully written
Lauren Hopkins
Very quick read about the life of a four-time Olympic swimmer. I will start by saying that I was maybe a tiny bit disappointed because I thought it was going to be more about training and competing at a high level but it felt like there was more about boyfriends than anything else. The swimming details are great and there's a lot of insight into that part of Beard's life, so don't get me wrong, and obviously her boyfriends were a big part of her life, I know swimming isn't everything. But someth...more
Sarah
This book definitely deserves a five star rating, it takes a lot to put everything out there like Amanda does in this book and it was so incredible to read. I got to meet her a week ago (4/18/13) for a brief moment and got my copy signed and it was honestly just so amazing.
Before I read In the Water They Can't See You Cry, I read this quote from it: "Sometimes success is simply being willing to give it your all," and I took it to mean that in order to be successful or the best at something, you...more
Rosie
One of these days, I am going to have to admit to myself that I love celebrity biographies.

I was not expecting much from this book. I really wanted to just hear about how it was possible for an Olympic athlete to be both bulimic and a cutter. I'd heard her talk about this book on morning shows and wondered about her story. How does someone maintain the physical abilities needed to be a world-class athlete with those disorders?

I was shocked to find many, many ways I identified with Amanda Beard....more
April Kane
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie
The book was good, and I applaud Amanda for her honesty about her difficult journey. I will say though that I didn't enjoy reading about her drug abuse, binging and cutting or her volatile temper. The most enjoyable portion of the book was the last few chapters when she chose to go to therapy and began dealing with the hardships of her childhood and of being in the spotlight at a young age. I wish there had been more of a balance between the amount of detail about her poor choices and the amount...more
Angel
I picked out this book to read because I vaguely remembered who Amanda Beard was and I really liked the title of the book.

After reading the book, I have to say that my image of world-class athletes was reinforced by both this book and other past memoirs I have read. To reach the level of success Amanda has reached, you have to expect some rough spots and if you do not have a "net" of supportive, loving people immediately at your side, you can very easily go down the wrong roads.

I appreciated Ama...more
Katey
Oct 09, 2013 Katey added it
The memoir I read is called “In the Water They Can’t See You Cry”, the story of Amanda Beard. Overall I thought the memoir was a work of art. It brings a raw element to the Olympic and competitive athletes. The first element of the memoir I found to be its best attribute was its self- discovery aspect. When you read through the story, you watch as Amanda grows into herself, she allows herself to change. You are introduced to a girl who struggles through school, but knows her place in life; she d...more
Meika
The great thing about this story is that you could apply the lessons fairly broadly. At it's heart, it's a very psychological memoir, with Amanda digging into what her emotions were along the way during these events in her life.
The big lessons so far:
1. It doesn't matter how big your successes are in the eyes of other people, there's always pressure to be better.
2. If you don't have an internal anchor of self-worth, all the approval in the world doesn't matter, and lack of it is shattering.
3....more
Rachel Wagner
As a person there is much to admire in Amanda Beard's story. Addiction is such a horrible disease and anyone who can claw their way out of it deserves applause and praise. Her achievements as a swimmer are also amazing.

That said- did not enjoy this book. From the beginning Beard paints herself as a very unlikable character. From describing the Olympics and swimming as 'boring' and a drag to endless accounts of her miserable boyfriends, she came across as whining and annoying. I got the feeling...more
Emily
I'm an Olympic junkie, and swimming is one of my favorite events. So I was familiar with Amanda Beard from watching her swim at multiple Olympic games. I really enjoyed reading this book, which gave a behind the scenes look at Amanda's life and the swimming world.

I have read a few reviews claiming that the book is all lies and that Beard just wrote this book to get attention and money. I suppose it is impossible to know Beard's true motives behind the book, but while reading it, I felt like it w...more
ruth assefa
i just remembered that i have not marked this book as read on goodreads. I don't know how that happen.i read this in 2012 and now i am reviewing it in 2014. i remember loving this book. It talked a lot about Amanda's struggle with cutting and eating disorder. And her life story. In the end i remember thinking how didn't i know about the things that where going on with her live. It made me see her as some what as a role model.
Lauren
GREAT book. I had NO idea what Amanda Beard went through growing up in the spotlight. It also helped me respect her a bit more because I was also a fan of hers that was frustrated when she decided to bear it all for Playboy. The story does tend to get a bit shaped like this: "I had issues", "My boyfriend was an issue", "I had more issues", "My next boyfriend sucked just as much", "I had even more issues"... etc. etc. until the end. I loved the she included photos in the end as well - it helped p...more
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“Sometimes success is simply being willing to give it your all.” 6 likes
“The more I added to my schedule, cleaning regimen, or athletic training, the less I felt. My coping mechanism won most people's approval. Adults were unusually impressed. Who doesn't like a kid with a serious work ethic? One of my biggest flaws turned into my best asset. A hard worker. Determined. Unstoppable. Tireless.” 3 likes
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