The charismatic coach of gymnastic stars including Nadia Comanec and Mary Lou Retton chronicles his life and career, from troubles with Romanian secret police, through his decision to defect, to his fight for better gymnastics in the United States.
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Sports fans in the U.S. deify successful coaches. We exaggerate their virtues and downplay their foibles as long as they win. From Knute Rockne to Bobby Knight to Mike Ditka to Dean Smith, we have ascribed to the top coaches in the marquee sports a wisdom that transcends the playing field. Compare those names to Romanian gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi, however, and they come up a little short. Karolyi revolutionized the gymnastics world with such athletes as Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, and Kim Szmeskal, and he did so against overwhelming odds. It makes a great story, and this captivating autobiography tells it well. Karolyi and his wife, Marta--to whom he credits much of his success--began their careers in a small Romanian mining town that offered no organized sports. They started a gymnastics program with no facilities and makeshift equipment and soon were competing successfully against larger communities and established athletic clubs. It sounds like they would have been heroes, right? Not in Communist Romania. Their reward for success was ceaseless battling with both the labyrinthine bureaucracy and numerous jealous rivals for funding, respect, and objective judging. In 1982, the Karolyis came to America. Despite their international success, they had to start all over financially and professionally. Again they triumphed. This is a wonderful mix of love story, cold war drama, and Rocky-like heartwarmer, and it's related with humor and passion. Highly recommended. Wes LukowskyFrom Publishers Weekly:
Karolyi, renowned coach of women gymnasts, revolutionized the sport in both his native Rumania and his adoptive United States, producing popular champions in each country--Nadia Comaneci in Europe and Mary Lou Retton in America. Karolyi's innovations involved two elements: he emphasized athletic skill, rather than aesthetics and he showed that female gymnasts could be developed at ages six and seven, far younger than had previously seemed possible. In his work he had to battle not only jealous fellow coaches but also Communist Party functionaries in Rumania and bureaucratic officials and judges in this country. Indeed, Karolyi became so disillusioned after the selection of the U.S. Olympic team in 1992 that he left big-time coaching. Freelancer Richardson helps him to convey the passion he feels about his sport and his drive for excellence. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Hyperion, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P11078686012X
Descripción Hyperion, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Brand New!. Nº de ref. de la librería VIB078686012X
Descripción Hyperion. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 078686012X New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0889368
Descripción Hyperion Books, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX078686012X