Looking for a new book? I couldn’t put down Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu’s book Off Balance. I will never forget the Magnificent Seven taking home gold (albeit past my bedtime that night in 1996), and it contains the truth about legendary coach Bela Karolyi.
Off Balance is now available in paperback, and the heartbreaking story of Dominique’s shockingly abusive training regiment as a child and reconnection with her long-lost sister is an incredible page-turner. She stopped by OKMagazine.com with her husband (and fellow elite gymnast!) Mike Canales to chat about her book and her adorable kids.
OK!: I’m obsessed with your book! Were you nervous to write it?
Dominique Moceanu: Of course! Over the years, I prepared myself. It took me seven years to get it out, so I was really using that time to process everything. I had my tears when I was typing. When I finally finished the book, I think I was ready to release it.
OK!: What is your day-to-day life like now?
DM: My priority in my life are my two little babies. One’s starting kindergarten, but they’ll always be my babies. Carmen is our oldest and Vincent is our outgoing social butterfly. They’re the loves of my life and everything I wake up for. I’ve been working on the promotion of my paperback, as well as my children’s book series that came out last year. All four books were released last year, so it’s been busy. I’m also an ambassador for the sport, trying to encourage athletes to stay on a healthy track.
OK!: What are the responsibilities you had post-Olympics? What happens?
DM: The post-Olympic life is so different. You’re a rock star! We did a 100-city tour. When you settle down, you have to make new goals because when you’ve reached your goal at 14, it’s like, what now? I had to figure out who was going to coach me, and [how to] be an ambassador for the sport and encourage healthy lifestyles and do motivational speeches. With kids, I’ve had to tone it back a little because I can’t be gone all summer. I want to try to implement safety for all athletes in the county, if governing bodies are on board, so I think that’s my path.
OK!: Do you think your kids will go into gymnastics?
DM: We have them in gymnastics now! We’re going to allow them to guide their passion. Carmen is really drawn to figure skating. Her coach, who’s a world silver medalist, says she’s never seen a five-year-old like her, so uh oh! The great advantage is that they have parents that have been there at the top level and know how to protect them.
OK!: Have your kids watched your old tapes?
DM: I don’t usually watch myself, but we have footage of Carmen dancing to my floor routine two years ago. That was cute! I don’t want them to feel pressured, that they have to do that, and Mike and I both agree with that.
Do you remember watching Dominique in the 1996 Olympics? Who were some of your other favorite Olympians? What’s your favorite sports book? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.