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The Long Program

The Long Program

Skating Toward Life's Victories

In all of her roles -- athlete, wife, mother, role model, and cancer survivor -- Olympic gold medalist Peggy Fleming has relied upon the discipline she cultivated as a young skater. Now in this intimate memoir, she eloquently reveals her fascinating life story and shares her secrets to serenity and success.
The long Program
In the 1968 Olympic Winter Games Peggy Fleming not only captured the United States? only gold medal, but a country?s collective heart as well. A young woman who embodied both stunning athleticism and magnificent grace, Peggy Fleming reluctantly became an instant celebrity. In the decades that followed, she also triumphed off the ice -- commentating for ABC Sports and nurturing a long-standing marriage while raising two delightful sons.
But Peggy?s toughest challenge came in 1998 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Here, Peggy candidly details her courageous physical and emotional battle. She also explains how she ultimately prevailed, and why she became an outspoken, highly visible promoter of breast cancer awareness. Most important, she relates how every person?s life has its own version of the long program, those precious years that take little girls and turn them into wives, mothers, grandmas, and survivors. A compelling memoir that deserves the highest marks, The Long Program is both a portrait of a remarkable woman and a collection of inspiring lessons on how each of us can be our best.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780671038878 | 
  • October 2000
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Confidence

If you had seen me in my early years, you would have had a hard time picking out the graceful skater that I worked very hard to become. If you first met me as an Olympic athlete or on a television special in a wispy costume gliding along ice as polished as a diamond, you probably think that I glide through life with my own personal symphony playing Mozart or Haydn, as I go to the supermarket or have the oil changed on my four-wheel drive.

Not quite.

The real me, the me before Peggy the Skater, was a scrawny, shy tomboy afraid to look in the mirror. It took many years for me even to recognize myself in... see more

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