Þ Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters ↠´ Download by ↠´ Joan Ryan Twenty years before most of us heard the name Larry Nassar, the Gymnastics who molested over 150 gymnasts and other athletes, journalist Joan Ryan wrote LITTLE GIRLS IN PRETTY BOXES about the often dark secrets behind competitive gymnastics and figure skating I still gave my copy from 1995 which I read cover to cover the day it was released.
I ve been a Gymnastics and figure skating super fan since watching Olga Korbut, then Nadia Comaneci I wrote a fan letter to Tai and Randy and thought life couldn t get any better when Randy responded LITTLE GIRLS IN PRETTY BOXES both crushed my fantasy of perfect girls effortlessly twisting their bodies in unimaginable ways by showing the abusive coaches, the eating disorders, crushed self esteem, intimidation and lack of regard these girls and young women endured Some didn t survive their sports.
Ryan interviewed athletes, family, trainer as a former gymnast although nowhere near elite , this book petrified me it s hard to believe what young girls and their parents are willing to sacrifice to be the best i m going to find it really hard to indulge my guilty pleasure of watching gymnastic and ice skating competitions on tv after this enlightening read.
about gymnasts than figure skaters, i read the version that included the 2000 epilogue which is great, because the first version was written in 1995, before the americans won gold in atlanta i d still like to read a recent book on gymnastics ice skating, but wonder if the fact that the country has had success in the olympic arena has pushed down the urge to write about it.
there s a lot of heart break in this book girls who died as a result of bad vaults, or extreme eating disorders competing broken and battered at the age of 15 thinking your life is over at 17 in a way, i never thought of after, that they do retard their body growth so much that they never turn into physical adults and when your career is over at 18, 22,
Little Girls In Pretty Boxes, Joan Ryan s expos on women s gymnastics and figure skating, is a brutal read It starts with an account of a teenage girl who broke her neck while performing on the vault, and it doesn t get any cheerier.
The book is well written enough to be engaging, but it s so excessively negative in tone that it inevitably caused my hackles to rise I suppose any expos is likely to be biased, but Ryan seems so biased against gymnastics skating that I inevitably found myself playing devil s advocate, despite having no stake in either sport.
Ryan leaves no room for the reader to make up her own mind as to whether the gruelling training and risks involved in the sports are worthwhile Her answer is NO NO NO, NO WAY It turns what could have been a thoughtful piece of journ Not nearly as tawdry as promised In the prologue it was all sexual abuse and this and that all over the place, but the book was mostly eating disorders and injuries Eating disorders, eh, the ways losing 10 pounds in a week affect your gymnastics skills, no surprise there Maybe it was shocking in 1995 when this book was published.
The effects of hardcore training on little bitty bodies, that was pretty horrifying, and how nearly all coaches everywhere were all WORK THROUGH PAIN INJURY OR GO TO BABIES GYM, FATTY LAZY SPIDER PIG DOG, rough times Still, I think it s the parents fault here and they do not get enough blame in the book How any parent could this kind of invective screamed at his her itsy bitsy daughter it s always girls HA HA abused little lambs and continue to pay the screamer 1k per month in mid 90s dol
Ryan tells of the sad fates of several promising girls who were sucked into this world by their talent, chewed up and used by ego driven coaches and, once they proved too weak or useless for coaches, disgarded like scraps, often the worse for wear.
It s names like Julissa Gomez and Christy Henrich who resonate throughout the book All young gymnast prodigies, all three were quickly brought down by it s envrioment Gomez broke her neck in a risky routine and was dead by 19, Henrich developed an eating disord Joan Ryan wrote a book, largely anecdotal, but with the findings of a few studies to back her up, about the harm done to girls, not those who simply learn gymnastics or figure skating, but those who are in the elite class of either sport This is an important distinction, as Ryan writes that girls who take gymnastics or figure skate learn a lot about competitiveness, self esteem, and discipline, but for those few who fall into the elite category the ones who practice for three hours starting at 5 a.
, go to school, then practice again from 3 p.
m until 9, the ones who are striving only for the Olympics because nothing less will suffice, the ones whose parents spend tens of thousands of dollars on coaches, or uproot their families so they can practice under a specific coach for these girls, Ryan argues, harm than good is done If this book is at From Starvation Diets And Debilitating Injuries To The Brutal Tactics Of Tyrannical Gymnastics Guru Bela Karolyi, Little Girls In Pretty Boxes Portrays The Horrors Endured By Girls At The Hands Of Their Coaches And Sometimes Their Own Families An Acclaimed Expose That Has Already Helped Reform Olympic Sports Now Updated To Reflect The Latest Developments In Women S Gymnastics And Figure Skating It Continues To Plead For Sanity, Safety, And An End To Our National Obsession Winning At Any Cost Joan Ryan is a journalist who knows her stuff, and knows how to write This is another book that focuses on the dark side of elite gymnastics and also figure skating Ryan does a fantastic job of supporting her conclusions with statistics from university studies, interviews with experts, coaches and team mates and especially the dramatic, heart breaking stories of the girls and their family Those who didn t make it, whether from injury, eating disorders, abusive coaches or all of the about and This book was written a year before the 1996 Summer Olympics in which the so called Magnificent Seven won the gymnastics team gold I can only wonder what Ryan thought about that, and wish she d write another book about the recent stars.
I really liked it in a sickening, this shattered all I ever thought about ice skating and gymnastics kind of way Great behind the scenes look at these two sports A must read for anyone whose children are thinking of taking their competition to the next level P.
S Kim Nahoom don t ever send your daughter to Bela Martha Karolyi or Steve Nunno