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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars

on 16 February 2004
As the winner of the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci made history. Aged only fourteen, she won the all-around gold medal, scoring an unheard of series of seven perfect tens!
She was the heroine of little girls the world over. But being Romanian, her life seemed shrouded in secrecy and mystery. In 1981, the book ‘Nadia â€" My Own Story’ was published and we felt we had received answers to some of our many questions. But it has since been revealed that she had very little to do with that book.
January 2004 saw the release of her book - Letters To A Young Gymnast â€" and finally, we were offered the opportunity to discover something of the real Nadia, the person behind the impenetrable deep brown eyes.
Reading the book was a wonderful experience. It is written as if Nadia is answering questions from a young fan, but this does not make the subject matter childish or limited. She details her life from birth to her wedding to American gymnast Bart Conner in a way which is so readable and compelling, that you will find it hard to stop reading until the very end.
Her frankness and honesty is enchanting as she responds to rumours that have haunted her over the years. At last, she has her opportunity to tell her story and it is an amazing one. You discover her reaction to winning the 1976 Olympics and losing her title in 1980. But you also find out how she planned and executed her defection to the USA â€" a journey just as brave as her long route to world glory.
Her story is captivating and inspiring â€" not only to young gymnasts, but also to anyone of any age. She explains how she applies her philosophy to life in general and how we can achieve our own goals and see each step as a positive one.
Nadia is now in her forties, but she remains an icon to sports fans all over the world and her enthusiasm is infectious. Her book is a great read and a must for anyone who has ever wondered how she got to the top or what she has achieved as an adult.
Bravo Nadia!
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on 17 June 2004
It was a real treat for me to read this book. Nadia had a huge influence on my life as a young girl training to be a competitive gymnast. Nadia has always been one of my idols & reading her own story, in the way in which it has been written, has answered alot of questions for me.
Nadia explains her life, her ambitions, her relationship with her coach, her life in Romania and why and how she defected in such a way that you feel as though you are living through her experiences with her.
Thank you Nadia, for your story and for the influence you had on me as a child.
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on 9 September 2006
Unlike most gymnastics biographies I have read, this is not your usual gushy and glamourous fare. Believe it or not, Nadia has had a very hard life. The book is extremely well written, and has the perfect tone for younger readers. Nadia explains the tougher times of living in communist Romania and her subsequent defection totally honestly and clearly and without partronising. Although a children's book, adults will appreciate the quality of the writing and a riveting story she has to tell.
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on 6 September 2013
A very inspiring and captivating biography. The book reveals a very honest and down to earth side of Nadia, who, despite her perfect tens and successful achievements in her gymnastics career, has lived a very hard life under the Romanian communist regime. Nadia shares many words of advice to her readers that I believe will get through all readers regardless of age. A must read. Bravo Nadia!
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on 30 July 2007
An amazing book about both Nadia's strength and determination in both her sport and life and the struggle it was living in Romania at the time. Both her love and devotion to both sport and country are apparent. This is the story of a woman who works hard for what she has got. A book that is compelling read for anyone not just fans of gymnastics.
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on 16 September 2012
Letters to a young gymnast is one of the most beautiful, inspiring books about one of the worlds most fascinating athletes. Nadia Comaneci wasn't just a lucky kid who turned up in Montreal 1976 at the age of 14 and performed the perfect routine... she trained for years to become the worlds best gymnast and then faced a difficult, hard life following her success under a communist regime. Like a good fairy tale she's able to escape to live a better life with the man of her dreams. It's not just a nice story told in her words, it's a book full of life lessons and unique outlooks on life. Highly recommended!
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on 8 June 2013
A name everyone should know associated in the gymnastics world. Well written book.
A young Olympic champion and loved by many. Certainly educated me on a few things about Romania and her defection to USA.
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on 22 September 2012
I read it in less that 24 hours as I was so captivated! Dive into the mind of a true champion. Nothing is a given but the result of hard work and determination.
I had seen the movie Nadia before but it is not as worth as this book in which we follow Nadia not only until she won the gold medals at the Olympics but also after her gymnastics career and when she escaped from Romania.
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on 30 May 2016
An interesting insight into the years Nadia Comaneci spend training to become the first gymnast to score a 'perfect' 10 at the 1976 Olympics. Although the book is titled 'Letters to a Young Gymnast', it is worth a read for any gymnastics fan who has an interest in Romanian gymnastics or gymnastics of that era.
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on 13 February 2016
Great book, Nadia tell her story in a very down to earth way, yet at times with a firm voice, trying to get the reader to understand how the live as a young gymnast was.
and the way she does it is great. Through conversation by letter.
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