home
RSS
June 13th, 2012
07:24 AM ET

Gymnast reveals 'dark side' to Olympic journey

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed.  In her memoir, "Off Balance," in stores this week, 1996 Olympic gymnast Dominique Moceanu opens up about her life outside the spotlight. 

This is an exciting time for me – with the release of my new memoir, "Off Balance," I’m finally able to reveal the entire story of my life.

Most people may know me as the youngest U.S. gymnast in history to win an Olympic gold medal (at the age of 14) and as a member of the historic 1996 US Women’s Olympic Gymnastic team (also known as “the Magnificent Seven”), the first and only American women’s team to take gold at the Olympics. 

Of course, to achieve the pinnacle of any field, a lot of sacrifices have to be made. I had my share of sacrifices both in and out of the gym. My relationships with the two primary male figures in my early life - my stubborn and volcanic father and my internationally known coach, Bela Karolyi (who coached me during the Olympics) have been written about by various media outlets but never from my perspective.

When you are in the media spotlight as a 14 year old, most think you are having the time of your life - meeting celebrities, going on post-Olympic tours, making magazine covers, Wheaties boxes and photo shoots. For me, however, there was also an untold, dark side.

Despite being a dedicated, hard working, elite athlete earning national and international medals and acclaim, I nonetheless suffered from a warped body image, unhealthy eating patterns and low self-esteem.  Those around me who should’ve been supporting me and boosting my confidence when I needed it most were doing exactly the opposite.

One of the many lessons I’ve learned from my life and career and the hardships I’ve overcome is that my purpose cannot be defined by the color of a medal around my neck. I realized years after I achieved success that what really matters in life is that I recognize my worth as person, not just as a gymnast. 

For me, gaining control of my life, becoming a mother and having a healthy home life has helped me achieve the balance I craved as a child. 

I’ve also learned to be open to new challenges and ready for the unexpected. Four years ago, I was happily married, completing my education and about to give birth to my firstborn when I received the biggest bombshell imaginable. I discovered I had a younger sister, born without legs and given up for adoption at birth by my parents. 

Fortunately, because I had reached a good place in my life, I was able to see the beauty in welcoming this wonderful person into my family.  Getting to know my “new” sister has been a tremendous blessing and one of the best experiences of my life.


soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. KlioMile

    viagra generic dosage buy viagra without prescription cialis or viagra ? viagra with dapoxetine online australia viagra buy viagra with overnight shipping viagra 100mg quick viagra viagra online pharmacy buy cheap generic viagra online viagra tablets cheapest viagra in the world viagra trial pack canada viagra generics canada generic viagra discover card

    January 14, 2021 at 05:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. NlbxZisse

    viagraonline generic viagra au viagra overnight delivery what is super viagra toronto viagra brand viagra viagra no prescription australia viagra prescriptions super viagra active viagra tablet cialis vs viagra vs levitra viagra chep viagra triangle te viagra online rx pharmacy viagra online

    January 14, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. JvcbxCrulk

    cialis canada pharmacy cialis store in korea is cialis time released? [url=http://phrcialiled.com/]buy generic cialiss[/url] ’

    January 18, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Leave a Reply to acheter cialis lausanne


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.