Gold-medalist Dominique Moceanu visited the Twinsburg Public Library Thursday, speaking to a full house about her new book and fielding questions.
Her new book, Off Balance, goes into her life as a gymnast and all of her experiences through life, including major highs and lows.
"I've been wanting to share my life story for many years," Moceanu said, adding that she finds healing in sharing her story with others.
Moceanu was a member of the 1996 U.S. Women's Gymnastics team which one the gold medal in Atlanta, GA. The team was dubbed "The Magnificent Seven."
Moceanu was recognized as the youngest U.S. National Champion in gymnastics history and has authored the popular children's series Go For The Gold.
Rather than retelling her story, she let the crowd pick her brain, having people ask her questions on a variety of topics.
What to do as a parent of a gymnast
Through her memoir, Moceanu said she wants to make sure kids can have a healthy, safe environment in the gym. She expressed just how important it is to communicate with kids about what's going on and to support them, especially with coaches.
"You need to make sure nothing is happening behind closed doors when it shouldn't be," she said.
She also wants parents to be supportive, even when their kids fail.
"Be very cautious and more reserved about handing out criticism first," Moceanu said. "Show them unconditional love. Help them develop self worth."
On her injury before the 1996 Olympics
"I was nervous I wouldn't be able to compete. I was very fortunate to be able to help my team and heal on time. I wanted it so badly and to be there for my team," Moceanu said.
On a future movie
One of her most powerful stories was how she found out she had a sister her parents never told her about.
Waiting to give birth to her first child, Moceanu was also preparing for final exams, when she received a letter from a girl saying she was her sister.
Moceanu said she knew it was true right away and that her parents hid her sister from her. Her sister, Jen, is now a part of the family and is her children's aunt.
The story has gotten much attention from the media and interest in making it into a movie.
"There is talk of a future movie," she said, adding she's gotten calls from the Lifetime channel. "You'll have to keep your eyes open in the next few years."
Creepiest thing about fame
"I still get inmates that write me."