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Off Balance Audiobook

Off Balance: A Memoir

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Publisher's Summary

In this searing and riveting New York Times best seller, Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu reveals the dark underbelly of Olympic gymnastics, the true price of success…and the shocking secret about her past and her family that she only learned years later.

At 14 years old, Dominique 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 quickly 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 parents. But medals, murder plots, drugs, and daring escapes aside (all of which figure into Moceanu’s incredible journey), the most unique 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 way.

A multilayered memoir that transcends the world of sports, Off Balance will touch anyone who has ever dared to dream of a better life.

©2012 Dominique Moceanu and Paul Williams (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Leslie
    GLENDALE, AZ, United States
    22/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heartbreaking and inspiring"

    This book was absolutely riveting. I felt so much for little Dominique who lived under the iron fist of her father and later the Karolyi's. I remember watching the Olympics and seeing Dominique's last vault and the look of confusion on her face and her coach's. Then Kerri s vault and repeating the issue. It seemed so bizarre like there was something on the mat. Then I watched Kerri stick the landing and break her ankle. The media ate it up. They said that Kerri had to stick that landing to give USA gold. Later we found that was not the case. This is not to take anything away from Dominique, Kerri, or any of the team. Because of their amazing performance as a team, they had already won. The media has also long been in love with the Karolyi's the nasty duo coaching team. Watching him carry Kerri, I told my husband look how he's made this about him. I have never been a fan. Dominique was so brave to tell her story (one that is supported by several other people including 3 Olympians the Karolyi's coached in Romania who claim worse abuse, physical beatings and starvation while in Romania).

    Dominique's life was no doubt very difficult, but she prevailed. Nevertheless with bumps in the road. Her narration is amazing. No professional narrator could tell her story and do it justice. I thought she was an amazing gymnast, now I've become an even bigger fan.

    Gymnastics is the only sport run purely on politics. The American public doesn't understand it's not on scores but Martha Karolyi single-handely can block an athlete. Unlike swimming and running, it's about time. Gymnastics should be run the same way.

    I highly recommend this book whether or not you are a gymnast. It's an inspiring tale of a young woman who became an Olympic icon as part of the Magnificent 7 and found a peaceful and fulfilling life. I absolutely love this book!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • MT
    Las Vegas, NV
    28/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A little depressing"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    yes and no... Im an avid gymnastic fan and was a bit depressed after reading all the negativity she had to the sport and her experiences.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The road to the Olympics 1996 was the most interesting.
    Finding out she had a long lost sister was the least.


    What aspect of Dominique Moceanu’s performance would you have changed?

    Her voice was pleasing and her narration was perfect!


    What else would you have wanted to know about the authors’s life?

    More about what she LIKED about gymnastics instead of all the negatives


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Karen Patton
    Los Angeles
    7/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow! What a life!"

    Olympic gymnast Dominique Moceanu has led a fascinating and greatly challenging life. I generally prefer to hear the author's voice when I listen to an audiobook, so I was pleased to hear the story of Dominique's journey (so far) in her own voice. She sounded sincere and humble. Her childhood was not an easy one, but she dealt with her past with grace, honesty, and dignity. I had read about Jennifer Bricker, the sister Dominique's parents had given up for adoption, so this book helped complete the story. These Moceanu sisters are pretty formidable, in the best way.

    I really enjoyed hearing about Dominique Moceanu's career in gymnastics--especially her World Championships, Goodwill Games, and Olympic experiences. I had always assumed that the Karolyis were warm and fair, but I'm grateful to Dominique for speaking up. Protecting coaches by keeping their abuse secret only perpetrates further abuse. Yet Dominique's sweet nature meant she was always willing to mend fences despite the pain she endured.

    I was riveted and moved by this book and would highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cholly
    13/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great read!"

    Loved her and after reading this, I feel like we could be best friends haha!
    Very interesting and had a happy ending!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Stephanie
    COLUMBUS, OH, United States
    14/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dominique did an excellent job!"
    What did you love best about Off Balance?

    I really enjoyed how Dominique gave an honest story about how she was treated during training.


    What other book might you compare Off Balance to and why?

    It was similar to a book I read about swimming called, "In the water they can't see you cry" by Amanda Beard.


    What about Dominique Moceanu’s performance did you like?

    I think she did a great job. I would not be able to perform an audio book the way she did!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It was difficult to hear about how her family started falling apart. I felt terrible for her.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • techieguy
    8/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dominique earns another Gold with this Book!"

    I remember first seeing Dominique in the summer of 96 when I was a sophomore in High School. I was cheering the Magnificent 7 that year as they won Gold. But the story I saw unfold was far different from the inside than it ever appeared on the outside. From her strict up bringing of dad Tatu, to her. being coached by Bella and Martha and later discovering her lost long sister. This book has it all. I'm glad Dominique gave us an inside look at her life and the truth behind gymnastics. What she has to go through made me respect her more as an athlete and person. Another Gold for Dominique with this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carmel
    Louisiana
    15/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eye Opening!!!👀"

    Great memoir from Dominique. She is a very admirable girl who has a lot of courage. Loved the whole book and would highly recommend to all who love gymnastics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lakin K
    Oklahoma, US
    11/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mixed feelings"
    Any additional comments?

    I went back and forth on how I felt about this book. First I love that she narrated it herself, and I applaud her for being so open. This is not a feel-good autobiography. I was a little annoyed that there were several things she said over and over. There were also several times that I felt that I was getting played for sympathy. I hate to say that, but I felt it more than once. For some reason I listened and kept questioning the credibility of the author. In the end, I think it was hard to listen to the book of someone who I have enjoyed watching compete only to find out that the person was miserable the entire time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D
    29/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So good!"

    I loved this book from beginning to end! So great to hear this story and the narration was flawless! I didn't think I would like it as much as I did!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kelli R.
    Arizona
    30/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story!"
    If you could sum up Off Balance in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting
    Eye-opening
    Inspirational


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Off Balance?

    In general, just all of the stories that you never see off camera.


    What does Dominique Moceanu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I actually did read the book a few years ago, and Dominique brings some extra emotion that you don't get from just reading.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Didn't matter.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book to anyone.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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