Off Balance PDF/EPUB Ò Hardcover

  • Hardcover
  • 256 pages
  • Off Balance
  • Dominique Moceanu
  • English
  • 20 February 2016
  • 9781451608656

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Off BalanceI’m a lifelong gymnastics fan and while I’ve read many nonfiction books on the sport I avoided OFF BALANCE because I wasn’t a fan of Dominiue Moceanu’s style of acrobatics Curiosity about the legendary Karolyi abusive practices convinced me to readDominue’s controlling often violent father and her passive mother set the framework for the young gymnast’s years under the harsh training of Bela and Marta Karolyi The story opens with Dominiue pregnant with her first child lest imho her parents gave up for adoption her sister Jennifer born without legs Jumping from learning about her sister to her gymnastics career felt disjointed and choppy Moceanu’s writing mostly telling rather than showing is at times dry when it should be emotional perhaps because she spoon feeds readers about how terrible she felt rather than allowing readers to feel her pain through observation of incidents “I was just a scared little kid who deserved better” permeated throughout the chapters told in different ways Yes she was and I’m so sorry she wasn’t nurtured and protected the way she should have been I wish she had allowed me as a reader to know without being repeatedly toldAt times Moceanu gives her father too much leeway for his abusive behavior Other times she seems to lack the understanding of appropriate parental boundaries understandably after how she was raised She impressed me as a woman who had little than surface insight and could have benefited from a lot of therapyOFF BALANCE helped me understand what Dominiue had been through and made me a fan of her as a gymnast and as a woman even though the book is at best average I believe every story she told In this searing and riveting New York Times bestseller Olympic gold medalist Dominiue Moceanu reveals the dark underbelly of Olympic gymnastics the true price of successand the shocking secret about her past and her family that she only learned years laterAt fourteen years old Dominiue 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 uickly 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 parentsBut medals murder plots drugs and daring escapes aside all of which figure into Moceanu's incredible journey the most uniue 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 wayA multilayered memoir that transcends the world of sports Off Balance will touch anyone who has ever dared to dream of a better life Off Balance by Dominiue Moceanu seemed a bitoff balance It goes back and forth between the story of Moceanu discovering the existence of and later meeting the sister her parents gave up for adoption because she was born without legs and the inside story of Dominiue's gymnastic career That structure left me feeling off balance I found myself wishing for detail and resolution of the many threads that wove through these stories I initially read the book for the story of the reconnection between the 2 sisters and ended up interested in the story of the abuse as perpetrated by Dominiue's father and the famous Bela Karolyi I will never look at gymnastics or indeed any pro sport uite the same again What price are we asking our elite athletes to pay for our entertainment? I have long asked this uestion and this book validates my concerns It is a shame that so many people knew of her father's temper and of Karolyi's mistreatment and did nothing The end of the book reveals the fact that the Karolyis both Bela and Martacontrol gymnastics today than ever I hope that people listen closely to Ms Moceanu's concerns This book has gotten some negative press recently due to the fact that Ms Moceanu “bad mouthed” her former coaches This is not what the book is primarily about It is her memoir It shows you a window into her life through her eyes She discovered a sister she never had and while this seems to be the primary focus she does give you a glimpse into her world Her trials and tribulations and she appears to be very honest although she really only touches on it briefly about how illy she might have handled some of the pressure of growing up She does bring attention to the fact that the sport has changed As a former completive gymnast myself seeing how much control one family has over the sport saddens me It no longer appears to be completive but who is their favorite that get to move on Again this is only a small aspect of her book but since I have not been in the world of competitive gymnastics in a good 13 years or so it is eye opening She is bringing attention to it in hopes to change it After all the US only has had one team of goal medalist gymnast and that was in 1996 when things were the way they were when I competed I understand the “idea” of trying to create things centralized but it doesn’t appear to be working and I believe that was her point in that again small aspect of the book I did enjoy seeing her almost bear herself in this book It defiantly gives you a inside look into the girl she was and how she became the woman she is today It was well written and I enjoyed it very much I did struggle to get it started I won’t say it’s a slow start so that is the reason it didn’t get a five star rating on my end But I will say I’m not sure if it was her her editor or even the publisher but they were very mindful of explaining technical terms which I’m sure is greatly appreciated form people who are unfamiliar with the sport This book was written you can tell so for herself but it can be read by anyone but I’m sure gymnast would greatly enjoy it Yes truth is often much stranger than fiction Dominiue Moceanu wins gold at the 1996 Olympics after years of intense training at the hands of the same pair who coached Nadia Comaneci to her perfect scores Most of the book describes the mind games that go on as the coaches force Dominiue to push herself beyond the point of painEvery few chapters the interesting story for me is told about how Dominiue discovers as an adult about to give birth to her own daughter that she has a younger sister Jennifer who was given up for adoption at birth Born with no legs Jennifer was considered too much of a burden for struggling Romanian immigrants to raise The glimpse provided of this other sister's childhood is a much brighter one than Dominiue's story of endless practices and harsh criticismBesides leaving me with the desire to hear about Jennifer's story Off Balance made me uestion who paid the highest price the child with the raw talent that was polished to Olympic gold through years of harsh training or the one considered so defective at birth she was given to another family to raise This was one of the better celebrity memoirs I've read though I'd argue Moceanu's less a celebrity and just a well known athlete at least among people in my generation Aside from dishing out a lot of personal stuff Moceanu gives an inside look at the politics of USA Gymnastics I'd had an idea about some of them but she goes at it full force in the last couple of chapters discussing how it's terrible that the entire sport rests upon the decisions of the Karolyis Gymnastics is the only sport in the country that has this sort of system and it's modeled after Russian and Romanian gymnastics While Moceanu details a lot of what you'd expect in terms of struggling with physical shape with diet with eating and with competition she was also dealing with a lot of adults who downright abused her Aside from abusive coaches and there is no doubt in my mind that's the best way to describe the Karolyis Moceanu's father was pretty wretched as well That all played out really publicly when she filed for emancipation but the book details a lot of her side of the story I give her huge credit because where she could have sensationalized the story instead Moceanu is kind of humble about the entire matter She forgave her father repeatedly and she's forthright in saying the media really played the story up to being much than it was shocker I appreciated how throughout the story there was little anger or resentment toward anything that had happened in her life Rather it was her story and she reacted as necessary Not once was this one of those pity me kind of memoirs Moceanu knows how neat her path was in terms of being such a young and accomplished athlete She just shares some of the lesser known thingsPrior to reading the book I'd heard about how she view spoiler discovered she had a sister who'd been given up for adoption and how life changing it was to reconnect with her It's sort of mind blowing how you could go through your entire life and never know you had a sibling But as strange is it was I related I'm pretty sure my little sisters don't know about me and I know my husband's two older brothers don't know about him Families are complicated things and I appreciated how Moceanu approached this in her memoir Again it's never a call for pity or sympathy Instead it's about how complicated things are and you just roll with it hide spoiler Over the summer my best friend's boyfriend called me and said Katiedo you know who Dominiue Moceanu is??? Being an avid Olympics fan I of course knew of her as the little brunette gymnast that was one fraction of the Magnificent Seven from the '96 Atlanta games that brought home all around women's gold for the first time to America What I didn't know was how insane the rest of her life was As soon as finding out about the extreme situations in her life I got on the waiting list for her book at the library It'd definitely help if you are an Olympics or specifically a gymnastics fan and remember the '96 gamescare about the sport but Ms Moceanu's story is so much than that From an abusive father who first spoke the words I love you when Dominiue was 21 to nasty coaches that only had their best interest at heart the famous Karolyi duo to the middle sister she never knew she had because her parents gave her up for adoption and never told her Dominiue truly tells an incredible story The hardest to wrap your head around is the story of her sister Jennifer who was given up at birth when her parents saw she was born without legs and allegedly decided they didn't have the fundscapability to be able to raise her Jennifer had other plans and persevered through her handicapp so that it didn't matter and ended up being an award winning tumbler and featured aerialist on Britney Spears' Circus tour Off Balance is a captivating read that transitions well from Ms Moceanu's rough past to her climb into normalcy and back again and truly gives you an appreciation for having loving parents as well as supportive coaches if you're an athlete and make you uestion if gold medals are really worth it Dominiue Moceanu has been an idol of mine when I first saw her beat another idol Shannon Miller in 1995 at the age of 13 I was 8 Being a fellow gymnast though I was never an Elite I can relate to a lot of her struggles in our sport one that is at times physically mentally and emotionally grueling I always looked up to Dominiue and envied what seemed like her perfect relationship with her coaches Bela and Marta When I first started out she was rising to fame I couldn't stand my coaches and wanted what she had I now know how the public was duped and how much she suffered Gymnasts go through what ballet dancers do with coaches if not The pressure to be thin is exacerbating and weight gain is shunned because it really does change your flight path through aerial movements My competitve career was over shortly after puberty when my body changed and done completely at the age of 16 due to chronic injuries Dominiue should be commended for her ability to openly share her journey and also to fight for what is right in the gymnastics community since it has moved towards an Eastern European dictatorship; the dictator being Matra Karoyli who is so deleterious to gymnasts' confidence in their ability and self esteem She USAG should be ashamed her for her behavior USAG for allowing her to be in power and for backing her Ultimately it was my happy memories of Atlanta's Magnificent Seven from 1996 that led me to this book and while the truths I read flipped some of those memories upside down I was still captivated by the book Though her style was a little bit disjointed the storytelling overall was well done She paints a very rough picture of the Karolyis who coach their American gymnast as though they were career athletes of communist Russia These tellings make me want to rewatch the 1996 Olympics and see if I notice the falsity of Bela Karolyi's affections toward the girls Moceanu also talks a lot of her rocky relationship with her strict father which gets worse and then better as the book and ultimately Moceanu's life goes on It was an emotional relief for me to know that she and her father reconcile somewhat before he dies of cancer The shocking revelation of her long lost sister and her foray into the dark world of drugs and alcohol took me by surprise but I appreciated her honesty about the tough subjects She sugarcoated nothing and wrote an honest revelation not just about her life but about the world of elite gymnastics in the United States Watching the 2012 Olympics this past week I can't help but wonder if behind their smiles and pretty leotards other young gymnasts are having similar hardships I want to say that this is a very sad story of a child who is pushed to the very limits by her parents and trainers but that is only half the story Dominiue Moceanu was all of these things but so much she had such a personal ambition and drive from a very young age that she was a than willing student and a truly great young athlete Despite her eagerness to do her best and achieve the top places in gymnastics this was never enough for her overbearing father of whom she was afraid and her trainer who was cold and uncaring he and his wife wanted the glory and fame that came with training a gold medal winner but they treated the young Dominiue with almost disdain and put her through so much training even though they knew she was in physical pain and mentally stressed to the limit They used the threat of telling her father that she was not trying to make her keep going and she was too afraid to complain about her treatment to her parents Her mother was also dominated by her husband and so there was nowhere for Dominiue to turn As soon as she was old enough to work things out for herself she took matters into her own hands and fought for freedomThis is a story of courage and talent that is a true credit to Dominiue herself and not to those who professed to be on her side

About the Author: Dominique Moceanu

Dominiue Helena Moceanu is an American author and retired American gymnast She was a member of the gold medal winning United States women's gymnastics team the Magnificent Seven at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta