In the Water They Can’t See You Cry by Amanda Beard is an honest look inside one of America’s Olympic prodigies. If you are a fan of the Olympic games, swimming, or Amanda herself, this memoir will give you everything you could want in a book about the athlete.
At the tender age of fourteen, Amanda Beard walked onto the pool deck at the Atlanta Olympics carrying her teddy bear, Harold, and left with two silvers and a gold medal. She competed in three more Olympic games, winning a total of seven medals, and enjoyed a lucrative modeling career on the side. At one point, she was the most downloaded female athlete on the Internet.
Yet despite her astonishing career and sex-symbol status, Amanda felt unworthy of all her success. Unaware that she was suffering from clinical depression, she hid the pain beneath a megawatt smile. With no other outlet for her feelings besides the pool, Amanda expressed her emotions through self-destructive behavior. In her late teens and twenties, she became bulimic, abused drugs and alcohol, and started cutting herself.
Her low self-esteem led to toxic relationships with high-profile men in the sports world. No one, not even her own parents and friends, knew about the turmoil she was going through. Only when she met her future husband, who discovered her cutting herself, did Amanda realize she needed help.
Through her renewed faith in herself; the love of her family; and finally the birth of her baby boy, Blaise, Amanda has transformed her life. In these pages, she speaks frankly about her struggles with depression, the pressures to be thin, and the unhealthy relationships she confused for love. is a raw, compelling story of a woman who gained the strength to live as bravely out of the water as she did in it. ” – In the Water They Can’t See You Cry
In the Water They Can’t See You Cry is an engaging memoir by an amazing swimmer. I only slightly remember who she was from watching the Olympics. I knew that America has talent, determination and strength, and Amanda Beard really shows in this personal memoir that she has all of that and more.
Amanda’s struggles with growing up in the spotlight, bad personal relationships, depression, an eating disorder, and cutting are all shown in the book. Hopefully not many people can relate to everything she went through, but there are enough there that most women could relate to something she went through, even if they didn’t get through it while also being famous. I found her story to be very real and encouraging. I recommend it for all women and teenage girls to read and draw some strength from.
* Thank you to the publisher of In the Water They Can’t See You Cry, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.