By Jennifer Sey
the genuine tale of the 1986 U.S. nationwide Gymnastics champion whose lifelong dream was once to compete within the Olympics, until eventually anorexia, accidents, and training abuses approximately destroyed her
Fanciful goals of gold medals and Nadia Comaneci led Jennifer Sey to develop into a gymnast on the age of six. She used to be a common on the activity, and her early luck propelled her kinfolk to sacrifice every thing to aid her turn into, by way of age 11, one in every of Americas elite, competing at prestigious occasions around the world along such destiny gymnastics luminaries as Mary Lou Retton.
yet as she set her attractions larger and higher—the senior nationwide crew, the realm Championships, the 1988 Olympics—Sey started to switch, placing her wishes, her health and wellbeing, and her wellbeing and fitness 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 in the back of her gold medals. a strong portrait of depth and force, consuming problems and degree mom and dad, abusive coaches and manipulative businessmen, denial and the seduction of good fortune, it's the tale of a tender woman whose goals might develop into eclipsed by way of the adults round her. As she recounts her reviews, Sey sheds gentle at the destructiveness of our winning-is-everything tradition the place underage and underweight ladies are celebrated and at the want for stability in childrens lives.
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Extra resources for Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics' Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders, and Elusive Olympic Dreams
In addition to fearfulness, tears were my attenuating weakness. While acceptable for children, tears were intolerable for competitive athletes. If I was going to “make it,” it would be in only a few years’ time. By twelve, it would be clear. Was I going to be nationally competitive? 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.
Something on beam. And it was on par with the score I raked in on my best event, floor exercise, the only event on which I remained upright the entire time, playing to the judges as I’d seen Nadia do on television. I even waved to the other girls’ parents on the sidelines upon completion of 28 Je n n i fe r S e y my routine, as if an adoring crowd was giving me a standing ovation. My total all-around score was in the neighborhood of a 15. About 50 percent more than the highest possible score for a single event.
I was in a vacuum. My focus honed to the point where I saw nothing but that horse and myself landing on the mat on the other side of it, fully upright. And I did. I landed on my feet. Straight and proud. So lightly I almost didn’t feel the impact. No steps. Perfect. I was walking on air. With a pat on the back and a whisper of encouragement from Marty, I flew to the end of the runway to perform the same vault again, a requirement, the score, in this competition, an average of the two attempts. I wasn’t out of the woods yet.