… for a long time I didn’t know my father. I was already in third grade when he was released from prison. He was imprisoned when I was two years old. And after doing his time he came back to us but we didn’t stay together for a long time, perhaps, only for 1,5 years or so. Father drank and beat my mom …
This is a sad story. Then my parents got divorced. …
Most reviews of Fierce focused on Aly’s reveal of having been abused by the U.S. National Team doctor. It’s damning for Nassar and USA Gymnastics. Of all his victims, Aly Raisman has the largest audience. She successfully got the message out to the general public announcing it on 60 Minutes the week of the book launch.
Every ninety-eight seconds another person experiences sexual assault, and sexual violence affects hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. 1 in 4 girls and 1 and 6 boys will be molested before 18. Society WAKE UP.
We appreciate Aly’s time, energy and bravery in taking on this most important issue. She’s done more, personally, to educate Americans than has USA Gymnastics collectively.
If, like me, you are still trying to understand how one of the USAG medical team could abuse so many gymnasts for so many years without being caught, read Aly’s chapter on the Survivors.
Fierce is as good a gymnastics celebrity biography as I can recall. I enjoyed it start to finish.
Her relationship with her coaches and Marta Karolyi is heartwarming. A great insight from one of the most decorated American gymnasts.
Aly has already had one of the greatest careers in international gymnastics history, but the book modestly focuses on her failures. Her many 4th place finishes. Her lowest moments.
As a child she was never the best gymnast in her group. The future Olympic Floor champion had problems learning back twisting on Floor. For months she was the only girl in her group training layout rather than full twist.
Like Shawn Johnson, she (mostly) went to regular school. She played many other sports, especially soccer, and attended physical education class when a principal would not count Gymnastics training as equivalent.
Her many young gymnast readers can relate.
I was shocked to read about her self-doubts over the years. Watching Aly from the cheap seats she appeared to be the best prepared, the most consistent medal contender in the world. Fierce and confident.
The section on her participation in the 2015 ESPN Body Issue is excellent. Another important message.
For her second Olympics Aly worked with a dietician. She details her program. I’d advise gymnasts not to blindly copy what worked for Aly Raisman. Get your own dietician. Every body is different.
One takeaway I got from this book is that USAG should abandon The Ranch as a training centre.
Aly Raisman was twice the Olympic team captain. Has 6 Olympic medals, 3 of them gold. Yet there’s no rah rah hyper patriotism in this biography. She’s much more interested in her family. Her teammates. Her friends.
It’s upbeat but not a fluff piece.
My only complaint is that I’d like to know more. She scarcely speaks of club teammate Alicia Sacramone, for example. I’d like to have had more insights into what happened at all those secretive team camps.
To sum up, however, I’d highly recommend this book as a Christmas gift.
The book (2009) is absolutely fascinating and also includes chapters by his coach and his wife. However, it’s never been translated into English and likely won’t ever be. I am currently reading the book and posting the highlights in English on twitter. All the tweets are then assembled into a story on Storify.
His first coach kept notes and wrote that at the beginning Nemov was physically weak, lacked endurance, poorly behaved and was prone to sudden mood changes …
He talks about food and hunger a lot. He still remembers (and holds a grudge) how Voropayev stole his breakfast …
He bought his first car in 1995. At the time coaches didn’t like when gymnasts left the Round Lake territory even on the days off, so Arkayev often confiscated his car keys …
Between 1995 and 1997 there was a huge drug problem at Round Lake. Mostly weed, but some heavier drugs as well …
Full of tips and suggestions, this is a good book to keep on the coffee table at the Gym. Coaches, parents and gymnasts can browse anytime for positive self-talk inspiration.
Focused and On Fire: The Athlete’s Guide to Mental Training and Kicking Butt by Lisa Mitzel
Lisa Mitzel is a motivational speaker and a mental training coach. A former Head Coach at Stanford. An NCAA National Champion at Utah. A 2-Time Junior Olympic National Champion and former Elite. She has a BA in Psychology.
This month, Svetlana Khorkina is publishing her new memoir ‘The Magic of Winning”. …
Her previous book “Flic-flacs in High Heels” was published 10 years ago and is now out of print. The new book also tells the story of her childhood and gymnastics career and will partially overlap with the new memoir, however, it adds new material on Khorkina’s life in the last 10 years and her current views on the sport. …
There is no information on whether the publisher plans to translate the book to English. …