My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Heart of a Champion” is a solid, inspiring biography of Dominique Dawes’s accomplishments as an athlete as well as a motivational speaker and active member of her community in her current pursuits. Much of this book combines quotes of her experiences in attending the Olympic games and insights on how she was able to keep motivated towards her goals and training, but it’s also a testament to her faith and how that kept her going through rougher spots in her transition from one career field to the next. It’s not so much a narration of her collective life as it is more of an overview and streamline of her major accomplishments, transitions, and notation of what kept her going. I think those who might want a more comprehensive biography of her collective experiences may not get all the information they want in this narrative, as it’s more of a positive reinforcement. I appreciated her own quotations in this book, and smiled even in parts where she talks in detail about some of her nerves and excited turns when she competed. It’s a non-fiction biography, narrative style, and a rather short read in about 100 some pages. I’ll admit that I expected more of this book to be in “her” voice rather than the narration, and there were parts of it that read a bit long, though it was well organized. I found it a good read regardless, and I’m glad to read the account of someone so dedicated to her dreams, goals and desires and seeks to help others in such a positive way – I think kids/teens will be able to see her journey and gain something from it as well. She’d been someone I looked up to as a child, and I still feel that way today.
Overall score: 3.5/5
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Zondervan.