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Only with Passion
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About the Author

Katarina Witt, born in 1965, still skates professionally. E. M. Swift is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated and co-author of My Sergei: A Love Story with Ekaterina Goordeva and Eleven Seconds with Travis Roy.

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Two-time Olympic figure skating gold medalist Witt (b. 1965) offers advice to a young skater (a composite character) on love, career and succeeding as an athlete. Using this platform, Witt discusses her training, competitions and business decisions (including her Playboy layout), and while she claims to discuss her relationships, too, she's quite vague on that front. Despite Swift's help, the writing is stilted and stiff. The glimpses into Witt's life in the Communist former German Democratic Republic are too infrequent; the few tidbits she offers, though, are fascinating. For example, she discovered by reading her Stasi file that the government had arranged for her boyfriend to be stationed in the army far away from her, so as not to distract her from her skating. Witt relates the incident with amusement; she's proud of the GDR and unafraid to defend it. The opinionated Witt deserves credit for being an inspiration to young female athletes and, perhaps, to all young women as they try to get ahead. She's unapologetic in her desire for success, even in sacrificing having a family, which she argues, refreshingly, isn't a sacrifice at all. Athletes, and figure skaters specifically, will most appreciate the lessons Witt shares. Agents, Elisabeth Gottmann and David Black. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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