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Letters to a Young Gymnast Paperback – November 8, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The book was very clear and easy to read, so younger gymnastics fans should have no problem getting through it. It was also very interesting (something I truly did not expect) and a page turner. It answered many questions gymnastics fans have had through the years.
Nadia's story is very impressive, and, at times, even heartbreaking. It's hard to believe that, by reading this book, you'll eventually "feel" for probably the most successful gymnast in the history of the sport. Her life wasn't always as glorious as you may think.
I'd suggest gymnastics fans read this book because it's simply very good and very well written, and also very, very interesting. Also, if you're simply interested in learning more about how life was like in a communist country, this book may just be the book for you!
Queries to Nadia have always been more than just, "How do I improve my handstand?" They want to know her experiences, feelings, and thoughts. Or, as Nadia begins her book, "Dear Nadia, Tell me everything..."
The book follows her life chronologically, but each stage brings a different theme. Chapter titles such as "Necessity," "The Disciplined Life," and "Courage?" are not only lessons for little girls, but for everyone, even if the lessons are really just reminders.
Nadia is very detailed in each of the memories she relates. Those looking to find out how she felt then, or feels now won't be disappointed. And she has the passage of time to put everything in perspective.
Her answers to the many questions are surprising. You'll discover that most events in Nadia's life, which we all learned from the various media, are far different than we thought in details and perceptions. I won't give away some of these details, but many are eye openers, some down-to-earth. And a few are reminders that Nadia's a person, and her actions and reactions are human, not superhuman.
With all that you'll learn about her life, you'll find she is still Nadia: The athlete and Olympic champion devoted to her sport; a teen with normal growing up issues that set her back, but rose to be champion again. A young woman held virtually captive by her government. A desperate soul escaping to freedom; creating a new life in a far away land. And finding love, complete with fairy tale wedding.
This book reminded me about all of the reasons why I have admired Nadia for so long and why she remains very dear to my heart, and in the hearts of so many others around the world. I want to thank her for taking the time to write such an honest book, and for sharing her thoughts with her fans. Her gymnastics career has had a big impact on my life, and has always inspired me to do my best in school, in my work and in my relationships.
One last thing: when I first purchased the book, I was disappointed that there were no photos included. Upon reading the book, however, I realize that the book is directed not necessarily at a young audience, but for her fans, many of us who are in our adult years now. While photos would always be welcome, I wouldn't have wanted photos if it meant taking out any parts of the book. Her incredible and inspiring story speaks for itself.
Her autobiographical account, packaged with thought-provoking questions and comments aimed towards her readers, struck several deep chords in my life-pondering mind. There is plenty of food for thought which would particularly hit home for readers who find themselves at a crossroads in their lives. Nadia's experiences, hardships, successes are truly inspiring pieces of her world that many readers could relate to and possibly find light in their own circumstances.
In a way, it was a good thing that there were no pictures included because I could focus more on the intellectual aspect of the story than the visual. At the same time, it would have been a great idea to include a few early photos along with some recent ones of herself, since she does mention that she hopes people will be interested in who she is now and not so much on the little girl she used to be.
As far as gymnastics tips, Nadia gives them in the form of using one's pyschology for greater benefit. She also includes a list for success in life towards the end of the book. Naturally, even I was curious enough to expect, and miss, a bit of flexibility or skill-specific boosting advice from her perspective.
This story is indeed a fantastic motivational tool for others. Those who say otherwise have simply not taken the time or effort to read into what Nadia's story offers or pinpoint the wonderful wisdom she provides.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gripping, honest autobiography of a super athlete. Couldn't put the book (well, my kindle reader) down until the story was done.Published 1 month ago by Pakinam Amer
Excellent book with some great principles. Everyone should read.
- Poore Richard
Bought the book for an 11 year old and I loved reading it. Great story and well written. Everything i had hoped it would be and more.Published 3 months ago by B Rose
The book is pretty good but some of the content is not meant for a "young gymnast" due to some mature content. Read morePublished 8 months ago by P. Jayne
A good Birthday present for an avid reader teen gymnast. Also neat if you are looking for ideas is the Gymnastics Scorebook by Deborah Sevilla if she is in a team and likes to... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Maria