Nikki Boisture's Reviews > Off Balance

Off Balance by Dominique Moceanu
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I remember so clearly hearing a story about Dominique Moceanu at the 96 Olympics that her parents had her hang from a clothesline when she was a baby, and when she didn't let go, they decided that she'd be a world-class gymnast. The announcers told this story with great enthusiasm and clearly thought it was wonderful. It immediately seemed creepy to me though, so two years later when Moceanu publicly got herself emancipated, I wasn't surprised. Even though I'm only five years older than her, I felt this sort of maternal pity for her.

Naturally I had to read this book to find out more about her life. The book itself is OK - I didn't have great expectations for wonderful prose. And it basically confirms everything I thought back in 96. Abusive parents sent the girl to an abusive coach. I didn't really expect the secret legless sister put up for adoption (and neither did she!)

Moceanu's life is a little more interesting though. From her time in Colorado and going to raves to meeting her husband as a young girl and developing a friendship with him before falling in love with him. Her gymnastics life is a little bit of a pity. USA Gymnastics would do well to listen to her because she's become a woman with a lot of empathy for others, and makes an excellent point about the Karolyi's benefitting financially from forcing young gymnasts to attend Karolyi camp, which should be outside their purview as Team Coordinators.

Overall Moceanu comes across as a woman who loves her sport despite being treated poorly by it, and as someone who has a real desire to see it change for the betterment of its athletes.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 26, 2013 – Shelved
August 26, 2013 – Finished Reading

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