Follow the author as he goes on a harrowing journey from the US Olympic Training Center to homeless shelters to shooting heroin on the job to being declared dead. This story goes beyond addiction. It is about the fragility and tenacity of the human spirit and how that spirit can redeem each and every one of us by helping to push us through the darkness, whether the darkness is from death, divorce, or the disease of addiction.
Acrobaddict is a story about the close relationship between athletics and drug addiction--how the same energy, obsession, and dedication that can create an Olympic athlete can also create a homeless drug addict.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Starred review) After reading former Olympic gymnastics hopeful Putignano's sinister yet intoxicating memoir of addiction, recovery, and more addiction, you wind up feeling like one of his closest friends. The first-time author, who now portrays Crystal Man in Cirque du Soleil's traveling production of Totem, divulges what must be nearly every significant detail of his journey from the basement of his parents' Massachusetts home, where as an 8-year-old he taught himself flips using old couch cushions; to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where the author's insane quest for perfection exposed his insecurities and triggered his self-loathing; and finally to a seemingly never-ending series of addict escapades throughout his college and post-college years that somehow did not even climax after he was twice declared clinically dead. Putignano's homosexuality plays a crucial role in his story, and it is the one topic here he handles delicately. Elsewhere, his prose is unfiltered: graphic and intimate. Prone to hyperbole to the point of distraction, Putignano nevertheless writes so vividly about his highs that readers practically experience them with him. Similarly, his lows drop them into the private circles of hell on earth he created. A more powerful anti-drug missive would be tough to find. (Sept.)LIBRARY JOURNAL (July 22, 2013) Dale Farris, Groves, TX-Former star acrobatic contortionist and gymnast of the Cirque du Soleil's "Totem," performer in Twyla Tharp's musical The Times They Are A'changin, and guest on Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN show Human Factor, Putignano, shares his heartfelt, emotionally wrenching story of addiction to heroin. Putignano's memoir takes readers on an unsettling journey from his experience in the U.S. Olympic Training Center to homeless shelters to shooting heroin on the job, and even being declared dead. His vivid, brutally honest story begins with his realizing at an early age his innate talent for gymnastics, followed by his obsession with becoming an Olympic gymnastic champion, how he abandoned his Olympic hopes to chase his love of heroin, and ultimately how he managed to overcome his addiction and move into long-term recovery and stability. The narrative is replete with colorful descriptions of his many harrowing experiences, and deep musings that have formed the foundation for his commitment to remain free of drugs and a shining light for others who may be seeking guidance. VERDICT Putignano's honest memoir of drug abuse is a valuable addition to substance-abuse literature. His status as a successful gymnast and performer helps connect readers, and his impressive, erudite style results in a highly credible addition to this rapidly saturating genre.
Updated With a New Introduction
"I am grateful to Jennifer Sey for sharing such an honest account of her experiences as an elite gymnast. She has eloquently and fairly exposed a dark side to our sport that parents have long needed to be made aware of."
--Dominique Moceanu, Olympic Gold Medal Winning Gymnast
Fanciful dreams of becoming the next Nadia Comaneci led Jennifer Sey to become a gymnast at the age of six. Her early success propelled her family to sacrifice everything to help her become, by age 11, one of America's elite. But as she set her sights higher and higher, Jennifer began to change, setting her needs, her health, and her well-being aside in the name of winning. And the adults in her life refused to notice her downward spiral.
Now, Sey reveals the tarnish beneath her gold medals. A powerful portrait of intensity and drive, eating disorders and stage parents, abusive coaches and manipulative businessmen, Chalked Up is the story of a young girl whose dreams would become subsumed by the adults around her.
A "delightful and insightful" (The Wall Street Journal) account of the controversial world of gymnastics and its scoring system, which has propelled powerful and athletic American gymnasts to the top of the sport.It was the team finals of women's gymnastics in the 2012 London Olympics and McKayla Maroney was on top of her game. The sixteen-year-old US gymnast was performing arguably the best vault of all time, launching herself unimaginably high into the air and sticking a flawless landing. But when her score came, many were baffled: 16.233. Three tenths of a point in deductions stood between her and a perfect score. But if that vault wasn't perfection, what was? For years, gymnastics was scored on a 10.0 scale. During this era, more than 100 "perfect" scores were awarded in major international competitions. But when the 10.0 scoring system caused major judging controversies at the 2004 Olympics, international elite gymnastics made the switch to the open-ended scoring system it uses today, which values both difficulty and technical execution, making perfect scores a thing of the past--and forever altering the sport in the process. With insight, flair, and boundless love for the sport, gymnastics insider Dvora Meyers answers questions that fans have been asking since the last perfect score was handed out over twenty years ago. She reveals why successful female gymnasts like 2016 Olympics All Around medalists Simone Biles and Aly Raisman are older and more athletic than they have ever been before, how the United States became the gymnastics powerhouse it is today, and what the future of gymnastics may hold. Bolstered by dozens of exclusive interviews with professionals representing every aspect of the sport, The End of the Perfect 10 is "the Simone Biles of gymnastics books" (Slate), a captivating look at elite gymnastics' entry into the uncharted world of imperfection--and how it has created stronger athletes than ever before.
Crowood Sports Guides provide sound, practical advice that will make you a better sportsperson, whether you are learning the basic skills, discovering more advanced techniques, or reviewing the fundamentals of your sport.
Standing the test of time, "Gymnastics Psychology" is the ultimate reference guide which holds the keys to the challenges of working with young people in gymnastics. For the first time, an entire collection of papers on "Gymnastics Psychology" by Drs. Joe Massimo and Sue Massimo, is available to athletes, coaches, and parents across the globe. Whether you are a beginning competitor or Olympian, coach or gym owner, judge or parent, you'll find the answers to many of your questions and the keys to realizing one's peak potential in the sport of gymnastics.
Are You Ready to Improve Your Gymnastic Performances?
Do You Want to Enhance Your Coaching Skills?
Are You Concerned about Your Involvement in Your Child's Athletics?
If you answered "YES" to any of the questions above, then "Gymnastics Psychology" holds the keys to unlocking the potential to your success.
"Gymnastics Psychology" takes a comprehensive look at the factors that are necessary for training champions while emphasizing concern for the athlete's psychological status, regardless of the level of achievement. The easy-to-follow articles cover the interpersonal relationships of coaches and athletes, psychological issues pertaining to motivation and fear management, meet preparation and goal setting, as well as vital family, school and peer relationships.
"Gymnastics Psychology" is understandable and expertly captures the excitement of the field while explaining basic concepts and principles while showing how they can be applied in the gymnastic setting. So, whether you are a coach, gymnast, or parent, this collection of articles by the authors provides you with definitive insight in the areas of psychological development and competitive behaviors that are critical to success.
"When the odds were against me, I was always at my best."
When she retired at age 19, Shannon Miller did so as one of the most recognizable gymnasts in the country. The winner of seven Olympic medals and the most decorated gymnast, male or female, in U.S. history, Shannon tells a story of surviving and thriving. A shy, rambunctious girl raised in Oklahoma, Shannon fell in love with gymnastics at a young age and fought her way to the top.
In 1992 she won five Olympic medals after breaking her elbow in a training accident just months prior to the Games. Then, in 1996, a doctor advised her to retire immediately or face dire consequences if she chose to compete on her injured wrist. Undeterred, Shannon endured the pain and led her team, the "Magnificent Seven," to the first Olympic team gold medal for the United States in gymnastics. She followed up as the first American to win gold on the balance beam.
Equally intense, heroic and gratifying is the story of her brutal but successful battle with ovarian cancer, a disease from which fewer than fifty percent survive. Relying on her faith and hard-learned perseverance, Shannon battled through surgery and major chemotherapy to emerge on the other side with a miracle baby girl.
Her story of trial, triumph and life after cancer reminds us all that its life's bumps and bruises that reveal our character. From early on in her career, Shannon knew that life wasn't about perfection. In this incredible and inspirational tale, Shannon speaks out so as to be seen and heard by thousands as a beacon of hope.
If there were such a thing as an elder stateswoman in women's gymnastics today, Nadia Comaneci would win that title as readily as she once won gold medals. Olga Korbut came before her, and many other medalists would follow, but none has ever been as dominant in winning the hearts of millions around the world. With grit and determination, Nadia Comaneci ushered in a new era for women's sports, one where young girls could vault into the arena of superstardom. Even today, almost thirty years after her greatest triumphs, you need only mention the name Nadia and gymnastics fans know instantly whom you are talking about. In Letters to a Young Gymnast, Nadia shows what it takes to achieve athletic perfection and become the best. With inspiring and dramatic stories from her own experience, she tells us how the young girl that Bela Karolyi discovered in a Romanian elementary school found the inner strength to become a world-class athlete at such a young age. This collection of Nadia's memories, anecdotes, and advice grants unique insights into the mind of a top competitor. From how to live after you've realized your dream, to the necessity of a spirit forged with mettle, Nadia's thoughts on athleticism and sacrifice are eye-opening and surprisingly challenging.
In this searing and riveting New York Times bestseller, Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu reveals the dark underbelly of Olympic gymnastics, the true price of success...and the shocking secret about her past and her family that she only learned years later.At fourteen years old, Dominique Moceanu was the youngest member of the 1996 US Women's Olympic Gymnastics team, the first and only American women's team to take gold at the Olympics. Her pixyish appearance and ferocious competitive drive quickly earned her the status of media darling. But behind the fame, the flawless floor routines, and the million-dollar smile, her life was a series of challenges and hardships. Off Balance vividly delineates each of the dominating characters who contributed to Moceanu's rise to the top, from her stubborn father and long-suffering mother to her mercurial coach, Bela Karolyi. Here, Moceanu finally shares the haunting stories of competition, her years of hiding injuries and pain out of fear of retribution from her coaches, and how she hit rock bottom after a public battle with her parents. But medals, murder plots, drugs, and daring escapes aside (all of which figure into Moceanu's incredible journey), the most unique aspect of her life is the family secret that Moceanu discovers, opening a new and unexpected chapter in her adult life. A mysterious letter from a stranger reveals that she has a second sister--born with a physical disability and given away at birth--who has nonetheless followed in Moceanu's footsteps in an astonishing way. A multilayered memoir that transcends the world of sports, Off Balance will touch anyone who has ever dared to dream of a better life.
Shannon Miller has truly lived the American Dream-its drama and disappointment, its hope and joy. Written by her mother, this profusely illustrated story of Shannon's journey to Olympic fame is also the portrait of a family working together to help a child achieve a difficult, challenging goal.
The ultimate thrill for an athlete is to stand on a podium and, with the world as witness, to accept an Olympic medal. In Shannon Miller: My Child, My Hero, Claudia Miller helps us understand the dedication and hard work preceding that moment of Olympic glory. Claudia presents intimate details of Shannon's life, her triumphs and her crushing defeats. She also shares the ways she and her husband, Ron, handled both the tears and the happiness, as well as how they dealt with Shannon's siblings, Tessa and Troy, and her teachers and coaches.
We journey with the Miller family through Shannon's training and achievements, struggles and injuries, to her dramatic comeback. In the 1992 Olympics, she won five medals. An in 1996, despite media declarations that she was no longer competitive, Shannon performed brilliantly-leading the women's gymnastics team to first place and winning a gold medal for her performance on the balance beam.
At age 20, American gymnast Shawn Johnson is a four-time Olympic gold and silver medalist; a national- and world-champion athlete. Already a popular role model to all ages, in 2009 she captured the national spotlight again when she won the widely popular Dancing with the Stars. Yet Shawn is no stranger to hard work and adversity. Her loss of the major gymnastics prize everyone expected her to win in Beijing, the all-around Olympic gold medal, was the loss of a dream she'd worked for since childhood. And later, she suffered a staggering injury in a skiing accident that forced her life to a halt and made her rethink what was really important. She wasn't sure who she was anymore. She wasn't sure what her goals were. And she wasn't sure she was satisfied with where she was with her faith and God. Could she find the right kind of success in life--the kind that doesn't involve medals or trophies, but peace, love, and lasting joy? This is the amazing true journey of how the young woman who won an Olympic gold medal on the balance beam became even more balanced.