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

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9780061351464: Chalked Up: Inside Elite Gymnastics' Merciless Coaching, Overzealous Parents, Eating Disorders, and Elusive Olympic Dreams

Fanciful dreams of gold-medal glory led Jennifer Sey to the local gymnastics club in 1976. A natural aptitude and a willingness to endure punishing hard work took her to the elite ranks by the time she was eleven years old. Jennifer traveled the country and the world competing for the U.S. National team, but the higher she set her sights--the world championships, the 1988 Olympics--the more she began to ignore her physical and mental well-being. Jennifer suffered devastating injuries, developed an eating disorder, and lived far from family and friends, all for the sake of winning. When her parents and coaches lost sight of her best interests, Jennifer had no choice but to redefine her path into adulthood. She had to save herself.

Chalked Up delivers an unforgettable coming-of-age story that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt not good enough and has finally come to accept who they were meant to be.

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Review:

"Chalked Up pulls no punches.Sey's writing is brilliant.offering perceptive psychoanalysis of everyone in her isolated world.Chalked Up is proof that she still has alot of guts." -- International Gymnast

"A courageous story befitting a comeback kid-a timely release for the 2008 Olympics." -- Publishers Weekly

"Is the wonder of seeing these tiny bodies propel through space worth the horror they suffer to achieve grace and beauty? Or--and this is a conclusion the Sey refuses to draw--is this "sport" just institutionalized, commercialized, child abuse?"--Penthouse

"Sey writes with vivid, clear-eyed candor; she doesn't blame others, instead feeling that all the pressure came from within...To this day, this former athlete, now a highly successful businesswoman, is haunted by feelings of failure. Young athletes and their parents would appreciate Sey's book."--Library Journal

"Chalked Up pulls no punches...Sey's writing is brilliant...offering perceptive psychoanalysis of everyone in her isolated world...Chalked Up is proof that she still has alot of guts."--International Gymnast

"A cautionary tale to not just athletes, parents, coaches, and judges but to fans of gymnastics... intense, gripping, and powerful."--Kathryn Bertine, ESPN columnist and author of All the Sundays Yet to Come: A Skater's Journey

"A courageous story befitting a comeback kid--a timely release for the 2008 Olympics."--Publishers Weekly

"Sey's memoir has sent shock waves through the tightly knit world of top athletes, sparking controversy...She hopes her book might serve as both a wake-up call to a sport that she says she still loves and a lesson to parents whose children enter the world of top athletics."--The Observer, UK

"CURLING UP WITH A GOOD HEALTH BOOK: In 1986 Sey was the number one gymnast in America. Her memoir recounts what it took to get there. As a former gymnast myself (no where NEAR as accomplished), I relished this unvarnished account of the sport."--Real Simple Magazine (blog), Liz Krieger

"A remarkably candid, unblinking portrait of what it truly takes to become a champion...that may forever alter the way you watch sports."--Jake Tapper, Senior National Correspondent, ABC News

"She has eloquently and fairly exposed a dark side to our sport that parents have long needed to be made aware of."--Dominique Moceanu, Olympic Gold Medal Winning Gymnast

A cautionary tale to not just athletes, parents, coaches, and judges but to fans of gymnastics intense, gripping, and powerful. --Kathryn Bertine, ESPN columnist and author of All the Sundays Yet to Come: A Skater's Journey"

A remarkably candid, unblinking portrait of what it truly takes to become a champion that may forever alter the way you watch sports. --Jake Tapper, Senior National Correspondent, ABC News"

Chalked Up pulls no punches Sey s writing is brilliant offering perceptive psychoanalysis of everyone in her isolated world Chalked Up is proof that she still has alot of guts. --International Gymnast"

She has eloquently and fairly exposed a dark side to our sport that parents have long needed to be made aware of. --Dominique Moceanu, Olympic Gold Medal Winning Gymnast"

Sey writes with vivid, clear-eyed candor; she doesn t blame others, instead feeling that all the pressure came from within To this day, this former athlete, now a highly successful businesswoman, is haunted by feelings of failure. Young athletes and their parents would appreciate Sey s book. --Library Journal"

A courageous story befitting a comeback kid a timely release for the 2008 Olympics. --Publishers Weekly"

Is the wonder of seeing these tiny bodies propel through space worth the horror they suffer to achieve grace and beauty? Or and this is a conclusion the Sey refuses to draw is this sport just institutionalized, commercialized, child abuse? --Penthouse"

CURLING UP WITH A GOOD HEALTH BOOK: In 1986 Sey was the number one gymnast in America. Her memoir recounts what it took to get there. As a former gymnast myself (no where NEAR as accomplished), I relished this unvarnished account of the sport. --Real Simple Magazine (blog), Liz Krieger"

Sey s memoir has sent shock waves through the tightly knit world of top athletes, sparking controversy She hopes her book might serve as both a wake-up call to a sport that she says she still loves and a lesson to parents whose children enter the world of top athletics. --The Observer, UK"

Synopsis:

Published just as all eyes are on the young female gymnasts competing for a ticket to Beijing on the 2008 Olympic team, "Chalked Up" presents the story of the 1986 US National Gymnastics champion whose life long dream was to compete in the 1988 Olympics - until anorexia, injuries, coaching abuses, and parental hopes and neglect nearly destroyed her. Fanciful dreams of gold medals and Nadia Comaneci led Jennifer Sey to the sport of gymnastics at the age of six. Early success propelled her forward.Her family, seduced by the notion of their young daughter as a champion, complied with her every wish as she strove to become better. By the age of eleven, it all seemed to be coming together for her when she qualified for the nationally competitive elite level, the highest in U.S. gymnastics. "Chalked Up" is Sey's personal story in competitive gymnastics and also the story of the ways her needs were subsumed by the adults around her. It is about the meaninglessness of second place in a culture that places winning above all else. It is about the destruction waged by eating disorders. It is about a specific a culture in which underage and underweight girls are celebrated as cultural icons.

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