VOYA - Ann BouriciusLike other titles in the Female Figure Skating Legends series, Kelly begins Katerina Witt's story with a dramatic event-in this case the 1994 Olympics at Lillehammer where Witt competed for her third gold medal in Ladies Figure Skating. Kelly then takes the reader to Witt's childhood in East Germany. Witt started skating when she was five years old, and attended the special government-sponsored sports school. Eventually, she became an international figure skating legend, winning two Olympic gold medals as well as numerous other championships. A member of East Germany's Communist Party, she became known as "the darling of the country's sports system." Kelly shows readers not only a life dedicated to a sport, but the impact of the government on that life. Under Communist ruling, Witt's parents were never allowed to travel to competitions with her, so they never saw her skate in competitions, except on television. And it took Witt six months to convince her government to allow her to appear in an ABC special with American skater Brian Boitano. Still, while the Communists were in power, Witt was hailedeverywhere as a hero. However, in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, the people turned on her and she was booed. Kelly takes the reader up to 1997. Witt's recent Playboy photos are not discussed. The text is extended by photographs of Witt and other figure skating greats. Though brief, the book is a good introduction to the world of competition figure skating. Young skaters will be thrilled with this addition to the series, which also covers the careers of Kristi Yamaguchi, Nancy Kerrigan, and Oksana Baiul. Glossary. Index. Photos. Further Reading. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
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