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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  ·  Rating Details ·  1,203 Ratings  ·  162 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
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Touchstone
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Darby Douglas
Dec 25, 2012 Darby Douglas rated it liked it
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!)
Jul 27, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, 2012
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
Jul 10, 2012 Alissa rated it really liked it
“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
Amy Moritz
May 14, 2012 Amy Moritz rated it really liked it
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
Paul Pessolano
Apr 09, 2012 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
“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
Apr 20, 2012 Melanie rated it it was ok
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
Apr 04, 2012 Naomi rated it it was ok
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
Jul 05, 2012 Kc rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 27, 2017 Casey rated it it was amazing
In the Water They Can't See You Cry was a fantastic read! The story began with Amanda in her younger years, during summer, a blazing day in Irvine, CA; she was running from her house in a nice suburban neighborhood to the local pool, open to surrounding houses. This is where it all started for Amanda, she swan day after day, even when school began, she practiced hard and loved every minute of it. However, one day after she and her dad had returned from a vacation weekend, they opened the door to ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Brittany rated it liked it
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
Jun 16, 2013 DW rated it really liked it
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
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
Apr 18, 2012 Chelsea rated it liked it
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
Dec 30, 2012 Meggen rated it it was ok
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
Apr 22, 2012 Shalisha rated it really liked it
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
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.
Sarah at Sarah's Book Shelves
As an ex-swimmer, I loved learning more about Amanda's story. And there's some great behind the scenes information about the Olympics.

A good pick for people interested in swimming and/or the Olympics.
Aug 09, 2016 Pam rated it really liked it
Great read. We all admire those in the spotlight but don't stop to think that they are human beings with unbelievable pressures put on them to perform. This is a touching memoir of one of the United States most inspiring swimmers.
Jul 29, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
it is amazing how people seem so perfect on the outside when they are dying on the inside. beautifully written
May 11, 2017 Asya rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, swimming
A somewhat topical but moving exploration of the inner world of an elite swimmer, and specifically a woman athlete. I don't think I expected profound insight so was not disappointed not to get it. I did want more reflection on swimming and AB's insight into that experience -- her sense of stroke, speed, strategy, of her body moving through the water and what that means to her. I expected or craved something more like Anthony Ervin's insight on how he perceives himself in the water. I wanted more ...more
Jun 14, 2017 Janet rated it really liked it
Wow! Amanda Beard takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster that was her life. This book was a page turner. Very interesting I sight into the world of competitive swimming. Most of us could never imagine the stress that comes with all that hard work. Come people cope with no problem. Others turn to what many consider destructive behaviors. Amanda gave us a look at her world with complete honesty.

I highly recommend this book for any parent who has a child in competitive sports. It is an ey
Oct 08, 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
Carla Fankhauser
May 13, 2017 Carla Fankhauser rated it it was amazing
It is a very inspiring journey how Amanda Beard suffered from depression and how her body changed to becoming an olympic swimmer.
Jun 07, 2012 Angel rated it really liked it
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
Ryan Bonin
Nov 05, 2015 Ryan Bonin rated it really liked it
Honors Non-Fiction Book Project
In the Water They Can’t See You Cry by Amanda Beard
Ryan Bonin Pd: 6
My book is an autobiography that tells the background story of the Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard. She is a young girl with the perfect life until her parents get divorced and Amanda goes to live with her father. I enjoyed this book because it was very interesting to hear about the struggles and triumphs of this world-class athlete. It tells about how she made the Olympic Games by the young age of 14
Apr 13, 2012 Meika rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 29, 2013 Rosie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 30, 2012 April rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo Oehrlein
Oct 04, 2012 Jo Oehrlein rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
The title is a bit overblown, I think. In the book she never seems to be very emotional at all (even during/after her parents' divorce) until after her 1st Olympics. The main feelings she seems to have later are embarrassment/shame, anxiety/nervousness, and rage.

Amanda was evidently quite the hyper child. She loved doing something all the time and enjoyed swimming because it kept her busy, but she did lots of other sports, too. She moved from a relaxed summer swimming club to a serious year-roun
Rachel Wagner
Jun 09, 2012 Rachel Wagner rated it it was ok
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
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“Sometimes success is simply being willing to give it your all.” 7 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.” 4 likes
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