Martin Avery brings us into the world of Canada's rhythmic gymnastics champion, Alexandra Orlando and shares with us not only her own view on her life, but the views of her friends, family and others. It covers the difficulties facing the sport as a whole. It is pretty amazing in itself that Alexandra Orlando achieved a record setting six gold medals but when you add to that, that she was up against athletes who have access to better training facilities, more financial support and one on one coaching it makes Alexandra's achievement all the more awe inspiring.
The book also touches on the subject of Alexandra almost going to the Olympics and being let down. This book says a lot about this athlete's incredible style and grace, both in the sport and in her personal life but it says much more about her that even in that moment of what must have been monumentally disappointing, she rose above it and trained harder and at higher levels in order to prepare for the next Olympics. It is clear from reading this book that Alexandra Orlando is an exceptional woman who gives 200% in everything she does and that she is respected and loved by all who come into contact with her.
I loved the information regarding this sport, that was shared in the book. I had actually enjoyed watching this sport on the TV in England as a child and I hadn't known what it was called, or that it still existed and now I know better. This is indeed an amazing sport but sadly, one that is not promoted or supported as well as it ought to be. It is a sport that is filled with grace, precision, beauty, style and a great deal of skill. A sport that can leave the audience breathless as they watch the athlete perform in a style that always reminded me of ballet.
I know that I will be keeping my eye on this athlete and sport alike and whatever your thoughts are on this, this book is definitely an eye opener. Alexandra Orlando is still so young and yet already shows so many admirable traits and qualities and especially her patriotism for this country, Canada.
This book was a joy to read and I loved the quiz at the end which was a fun way of checking what info you remember and I actually had remembered all of it. This is also the first in a series of books named "Celebrating Canadian Athletes". I know I can't wait for the next installment!
Author's website: http://martinavery.com/
Alexandra's Website: http://www.ritmika.ca/orlando.htm (includes brilliant images of her performing).