Now a woman of tremendous poise and self-assurance, she offers unique insights into the mind of a top competitor. Perhaps it is because Nadia not only talked about her gymnastics, but also about the conditions and struggles of life in Communist Romania. It is not only a biography, but also historical as well. 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.
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Now a woman of tremendous poise and self-assurance, she offers unique insights into the mind of a top competitor. Perhaps it is because Nadia not only talked about her gymnastics, but also about the conditions and struggles of life in Communist Romania.
It is not only a biography, but also historical as well. 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. Berry on Dec 23, Do not have the mistaken belief that this book is a simple collection of gymnastic memories for budding gymnasts. Competitive gymnastics, and life, is far more detailed. And Nadia addresses a thousand questions posed to her by generations of fans. Some fans watched Nadia in competition during the Olympics. Many know of her from stories told them by others. And some only know of her from a TV movie.
Queries to Nadia have always been more than just, "How do I improve my handstand? Or, as Nadia begins her book, "Dear Nadia, Tell me everything Nadia is very detailed in each of the memories she relates.
And she has the passage of time to put everything in perspective. Her answers to the many questions are surprising. 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. The style and language of the book made it seem like Nadia was sharing her story with ME, and I loved the personal stories and insights.
These were topics that I had heard talked about many times, but even in interviews, Nadia has never gone into the detail that she did in this book. 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. 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. 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. 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. A great book that one should not miss it! By on Jan 05, Yes, I finally received it today, on my sick leave day, where I suppose should have my rest on the bed, but instead I ended up spending about 6 hours reading this book until the end.
Thank you Amazon. I noticed that it was well packed several layers to protect the book so when it arrived through the postage, it was in perfect new condition! I also would like to those of you who had not seen the book yet to know that the current book cover of this book is different from this book cover picture posted in Amazon.
After Amazon. Now the current on sales version has a beautiful Nadia rare floor exercise ending post picture in Montreal Olympics. You may view the current book cover at NadiaComaneci. My pal Linda was correct about the book made like being Nadia talking to me alone. The book has that special personal touch, it does not need any pictures to elebrate Nadia, the true insight and honest reveal had made it more interesting than pictures. More important is that Nadia had shown us the important to have good education for the better future of oneself.
She shows us how athlete can be intellectual people. Not that she is good in gymnastics, she is good in reading, she shared the intellectual articles of Romanians writers. Her shared her love for her country, people, family, gymnastics and Bart with us.
After you read the book, you feel you know Romania better, and you could see the pride of Nadia being a Romanian. Nadia also showed us her love of gymnastics, and give us a better perpestive of the sports and her coach.
She showed us her connection to Nicu and Constantin. The review of imamomofive from College Grove, TN United States was wrong to say that she was mending the fences, she showed us the honest inside stories.
Nadia her great respect for her coach Bela. Nadia as honest as she has been tell us what she was actually had been through. After reading it, you can feel the difficulties she went through, and the courage she had to overcome them one by one.
She tried to clear the wrong perception of her after Olympics life. She told us the mistakes she made. She is truly a great figther in life. It was not a book just for gymnasts, but for people of all ages because everyone can learned some lessons from Nadia through here. It is truly a book of the arts of mentoring! It is a great book that one should not miss it! My coach recommended it to me, and after reading it, I gave it to my best friend to read. I was barely able to put it down. You walk away from this book feeling like you actually were there and know Nadia Comaneci personally.
I rarely find biographies or autobiographies that are this good. Defidently a 5-star book. While this is an inspirational book, and is intended to be so, what I get from it is a better understanding of the story of two incredible people, Nadia and her famous coach Bela Karolyi. I cannot think of one without the other.
Their stories are intriguing and each has had their share of good and bad press. I love what Nadia accomplished and wondered at her floozy image after her defection.
Now a better picture of who they are emerges. I did not know that he was Hungarian and not "in" with the powers that were. The training and the love of the sport must have been a protective oasis for the youngsters in this program.
In the US, where the media looks for stories of conflict, it is bound to find criticism of Bela from disappointed young gymnasts. If you want to be 1, and are willing and able to do the work, he is clearly your "go to" guy. I understand what he did now, and appreciate him and his wife even more. I can imagine her commitment and trust in her "savior" who may have risked his life too and having only guarded experiences in her new country, not knowing its language and having no means of support, she had to rely on someone.
While she should have reconnected with Bela, she relied on Constantin who obviously knew his way around the eastern block. Interestingly, not long after, the Ceausecu regime fell making visits to and from family possible. While a path of defection is easier for the famous, Nadia describes the stress that comes with the decision.
Only the very disciplined can consider taking the mental and physical risks. Her journey accross the borders called on all her endurance and team training. She was able to keep her "team" from being sent back. I like the simple prose and the format here.
More than a letter to a specified audience of young gymnasts, Nadia is revealing to all who she is and how she came to be. A very special little book. By Mr Gareth Harrison on Apr 05, Written as a series of responses to imaginary fan letters, Nadia takes us through lots of emotions as she explains her feelings about the events that shaped her extra-ordinary life.
I believe she has given us an honest account. She comes accross as an intelligent and deeply principled woman, her insight and philosophy is a joy and an inspiration. Inspiring yet question provoking By Tatiana on May 23, Growing up as a gymnast, with Nadia as my idol, I was very interested and excited when coming across this book. Being born into a Ukrainian culture and heritage here in the US, I was familiar with the communistic regime as Ukraine was also a communist state within the USSR, the nation and its people suffering greatly within this regime.
I was frustrated at times throughout the book because I would have liked to hear more detail or the "full story" in various situations that Nadia brings up. Nadia did mention in the beginning of her story that there would be details that she would leave out due to respect and confidentiality but I felt like there was a lot left out.
For example, I was very eager to hear about how she re connected with Marta and Bela after all those years. Marta and Bela were is essence part of her family for the majority of her young life and she consistently mentioned them in the first half of the book yet after her defection to the US she barely mentions them at all.
Why did she not reach out to them? What was the real story behind Constantin?
LETTERS TO A YOUNG GYMNAST
From her early childhood in the tiny village of Onesti, Romania climbing trees, to being spotted doing cartwheels by Bela Karolyi. To her intense training and sheltered life, to the Olympics just another competition in her eyes , to growing up and clashing with her coaches. Nadia continues to describe her life under communist rule and the dead-ends where she found herself when she eventually decided to make the toughest decision of her life--to defect to the United States. With the fear of imprisonment or being shot in the back, she bravely snuck out into the Romanian night and headed the six hours on foot to Hungary. Through it all, Nadia exhibits the grace and poise that has come to be synonymous with her name. The darling and hero of the gymnastics world finally opens up about her life and it is interesting all the way through. I feel that she kind of downplayed some aspects of her life like the training and her relationship with Karolyi, but overall it was a good glimpse into the life of a living legend who, until now, has kept her life very private.
Letters to a Young Gymnast
In , she participated in her first international competition, a dual junior meet between Romania and Yugoslavia , winning her first all-around title, and contributing to the team gold. For the next few years, she competed as a junior in numerous national contests in Romania and dual meets with countries such as Hungary , Italy , and Poland. She won the all-around and gold medals in every event but the floor exercise , in which she placed second. She continued to enjoy success that year, winning the all-around at the "Champions All" competition, and placing first in the all-around, vault, beam , and bars at the Romanian National Championships. She received rare scores of 10, which signified a perfect routine without any deductions, for her vault in the preliminary stage and for her floor exercise routine in the final of the all-around competition, which she won.