It's Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life (Hardcover)
"When the odds were against me, I was always at my best."
When she retired at age 19, Shannon Miller did so as one of the most recognizable gymnasts in the country. The winner of seven Olympic medals and the most decorated gymnast, male or female, in U.S. history, Shannon tells a story of surviving and thriving. A shy, rambunctious girl raised in Oklahoma, Shannon fell in love with gymnastics at a young age and fought her way to the top.
In 1992 she won five Olympic medals after breaking her elbow in a training accident just months prior to the Games. Then, in 1996, a doctor advised her to retire immediately or face dire consequences if she chose to compete on her injured wrist. Undeterred, Shannon endured the pain and led her team, the "Magnificent Seven," to the first Olympic team gold medal for the United States in gymnastics. She followed up as the first American to win gold on the balance beam.
Equally intense, heroic and gratifying is the story of her brutal but successful battle with ovarian cancer, a disease from which fewer than fifty percent survive. Relying on her faith and hard-learned perseverance, Shannon battled through surgery and major chemotherapy to emerge on the other side with a miracle baby girl.
Her story of trial, triumph and life after cancer reminds us all that its life's bumps and bruises that reveal our character. From early on in her career, Shannon knew that life wasn't about perfection. In this incredible and inspirational tale, Shannon speaks out so as to be seen and heard by thousands as a beacon of hope.
About the Author
Shannon Miller remains the most decorated gymnast in American history. She is the only American to rank among the Top 10 All-Time gymnasts and is the only female athlete to be inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame. She has won an astounding 59 International and 49 National competition medals, over half of which have been gold. After retiring from Olympic competition, Shannon received her undergraduate degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship and her law degree from Boston College. She then moved from Olympic athlete to advocate for the health and wellness of women and children. Shannon now resides in Florida with her husband, son Rocco and newest addition, their miracle baby girl Sterling.
Danny Peary is an American film critic and sports writer. He has written and edited twenty-two books on cinema and sports-related topics. He earned a B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and an M.A. in Cinema at University of Southern California. He has lived in New York City since 1977.
“Miller shares the life lessons that brought Olympic success and gave her the courage to battle ovarian cancer in 2011: goal setting, putting in the work, learning from mistakes, thinking positive, accepting help from others, and never giving up. Sports enthusiasts will applaud this in-depth account of Miller's life; others will be drawn to the inspiring story of a strong and gracious athlete and women's health advocate.” —Publishers Weekly
“Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Miller inspires others with her work ethic... With the help of coauthor Peary, a sports writer and film critic, Miller shows what it takes to be a best-in-the world athlete. She quotes Nelson Mandela, 'Don't judge me by my successes but rather how many times I fell and got back up again.' Words for everyone to live by.” —Booklist
“Shannon Miller has displayed strength, character, and perseverance her entire life. These traits turned her into an Olympic Champion and then helped her beat cancer. In It's Not About Perfect she shares how the traits that have shaped her life can translate into success in all walks of life.” —Dan Jansen, Olympic Gold Medalist Speed Skater
“Shannon Miller is a champion both on and off the mat. She is not only one of the greatest gymnasts in the history of the sport, she is a great person. Her courage to win as a gymnast shines through just as it did in her battle against cancer. Through and through Shannon is not only a winner but a friend as well.” —Mary Lou Retton, Women's All-Around Olympic Champion
“I have had the pleasure and privilege of knowing Shannon Miller as an Olympic teammate and a fellow mom. Shannon's strength and perseverance to conquer any mountain in life are something to be admired.” —Summer Sanders, Two-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer
“Shannon Miller's strength and perseverance in both her sport and cancer battle is something to be admired as it can be applied to conquering any mountain in life.” —Bonnie Blair, Olympic Speed Skater