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The Long Program: Skating Toward Life's Victoriesby Peggy Fleming
Synopses & Reviews
In all of her roles — athlete, wife, mother, role model, and cancer survivor — Olympic gold medalist Peggy Fleming has relied upon the discipline she cultivated as a young skater. Now in this intimate memoir, she eloquently reveals her fascinating life story and shares her secrets to serenity and success.
In 1968 — the first year the Olympic Winter Games were televised live and in color — the nation anxiously watched a teenaged girl in a chartreuse dress deliver a breathtaking free-skating program. Her performance not only captured the United States' only winter gold medal, but a country's collective heart as well. It was our introduction to Peggy Fleming.
A young woman who embodied both stunning athleticism and magnificent grace, Peggy Fleming became an instant celebrity. Yet, as this shy and reclusive California tomboy discloses, she was anything but comfortable in the public eye. She was only a gawky twelve-year-old when she began to reenergize the sport after the entire U.S. Figure Skating team — including Peggy's coach — was lost in a plane crash. Peggy reveals how she developed an inner strength that allowed her to conquer doubt and fear, and how that strength stayed with her after the Olympics. She also describes how, in the decades that followed, she found great joy and balance in her life — sharing her knowledge and insight as an on-air analyst for ABC Sports (for eighteen years and counting), and maintaining a long-standing marriage that has given her two delightful sons.
But Peggy's toughest challenge came thirty years after she won the gold medal. In 1998, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Here, Peggy candidly details her courageous physical and emotional battle. She also explains how she ultimately prevailed, and why she felt it necessary to become an outspoken, highly visible promoter of breast cancer awareness.
Through it all, Peggy always maintained poise, confidence, and her acute sense of self. Demonstrating why these attributes are essential to achieving any goal, she relates how every person's life has its own version of a long program, those precious years that take little girls and turn them into wives, mothers, grandmas, and survivors. And she shows how making a plan and then reacting to the twists and turns of reality is what skating is all about and what life is all about.
A compelling memoir that deserves the highest marks, The Long Program is both a portrait of a remarkable woman, and a collection of inspiring lessons on how each of us can be our best.
About the Author
Peggy Fleming has won five U.S. figure skating titles, three World titles, and an Olympic gold medal. In 1994, Sports Illustrated named her one of their "40 for the Ages — 40 individuals who have most significantly altered or elevated the world of sports in the last 40 years." She was the only figure skater and one of four women chosen. She continues to work as an on-air analyst for ABC Sports and has become a national spokesperson for breast cancer awareness. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and two sons.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Life, Art, Sports, and Me
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