One of the most decorated American gymnasts details her life in and out of the gym.
“The story of my life in gymnastics is an underdog one,” Raisman says in the opening pages of this memoir, and she provides plenty of examples to support her statement: the extra time it takes her to learn new skills, whether it’s a roundoff back handspring or the Amanar vault; her difficulty coping with the incredible pressure placed upon all gymnasts; and the injuries that interrupted her career, such as a back injury suffered at the age of 12. Yet every time she’s knocked down, she works extra hard and succeeds. And that ability to overcome serves her in good stead whether it’s choosing to come back to gymnastics after the 2012 Olympics or stepping forward to reveal the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of the USA Gymnastics doctor. Said revelation is handled delicately, and it’s combined with valuable information for other sexual abuse victims. Raisman’s voice remains forthright and grounded, her words sounding as though they were drawn from her journal—as they were in several cases. It’s difficult to read about the physical injuries and the mental pressure Raisman places upon herself, yet her love for gymnastics always shines through.
An appealing, readable memoir for more than just future gymnasts. (Memoir. 12-18)