Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics' Merciless Coaching, by Jennifer Sey

By Jennifer Sey

the genuine tale of the 1986 U.S. nationwide Gymnastics champion whose lifelong dream was once to compete within the Olympics, till anorexia, accidents, and training abuses approximately destroyed her

Fanciful desires of gold medals and Nadia Comaneci led Jennifer Sey to develop into a gymnast on the age of six. She used to be a traditional on the recreation, and her early luck propelled her family members to sacrifice every thing to assist her develop into, through age 11, certainly one of America’s elite, competing at prestigious occasions around the globe along such destiny gymnastics’ luminaries as Mary Lou Retton.

yet as she set her points of interest better and higher—the senior nationwide group, the realm Championships, the 1988 Olympics—Sey started to swap, placing her wishes, her future health, and her future health apart within the identify of successful. And the adults in her existence refused to note her downward spiral.

In Chalked Up Sey unearths the tarnish at the back of her gold medals. a robust portrait of depth and force, consuming issues and degree mom and dad, abusive coaches and manipulative businessmen, denial and the seduction of luck, it's the tale of a tender woman whose goals could turn into eclipsed via the adults round her. As she recounts her reports, Sey sheds gentle at the destructiveness of our winning-is-everything tradition the place underage and underweight ladies are celebrated and at the desire for stability in children’s lives.

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Extra resources for Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics' Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders, and Elusive Olympic Dreams

Sample text

Pleased with Heather’s response, Rich pointed at me again. “Stop talking so damn much. Make it five more. Like Heather. ” He turned to the group. ” But he’d pointed at me. Then, once the classes were dismissed, we’d gather our things—our gym bags filled with handgrips and beam shoes, our Thermoses filled with astronaut Tang—and begin our workouts. We’d rotate from one event to the next, an hour on each. Debbie, Rich’s wife, was stationed at the balance beam. Rich was on tumbling. Marty, the assistant coach, always stayed positioned between vault and bars, shuttling back and forth.

Or was I going to be relegated to state competitions and partial college scholarships at Division III universities? Competitiveness offset my teary disposition, driving betterthan-expected improvement in a short period of time. 9s on all my routines. Less than two years after my first meet, where I logged a grand total of a 15 in the all-around, I posted 8s on every event. I stood out at the state meet. I became a seasoned competitor. I looked at the scores and they galvanized me, propelled me to even better routines on subsequent events.

All of the gymnastics events had prepared me for the performance. Nerves simply weren’t an issue. I played the principal girl mouse, wearing a satin pink tutu with white polka dots, black sequined suspenders, and ears like Minnie. I loved this costume. It made me the star. I sparkled in the front, all the other kids seemingly drab and 34 Je n n i fe r S e y unimportant in their matching, unadorned, unsparkly corps de ballet uniforms. The recital was held at the Haddon Fort Nightly, the general gathering place for town happenings in Haddonfield.

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