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Book excerpt: Caitlyn Jenner felt ‘neither confident nor attractive’ after Olympic triumph

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Bruce Jenner broke the decathlon world record en route to winning the 1976 Olympic gold medal in Montreal.

But struggling with confusion over gender identity, Jenner felt conflicted by the newfound title of “world’s greatest athlete.”

Jenner, who is now known as Caitlyn after announcing in 2015 that she was transitioning to living as a woman, revealed her mindset the morning after the Olympic triumph in the following excerpt from her best-selling memoir, “The Secrets of My Life,” which is available now:

I am looking in the mirror in a suite of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal the morning after my Olympic win. I am naked with the gold medal around my neck. Now that it’s over, who am I?

I am trying to see if I feel different after winning the gold and setting a world record and already being offered a broadcasting job by ABC.

The world’s greatest athlete.

Nobody can say that except the thirteen gold medalists who have come before.

But I don’t feel particularly different. I look into the mirror and I still see what I always see to one degree or another—a person who in working so hard to erase what is inside him has overcome nothing. Now that the Grand Diversion of training for the Olympics is over, now that I have won, what happens next? Will I find something else to preoccupy me, to take the edge off? My wife, Chrystie, is sleeping in the next room. She thinks she knows me almost four years into our marriage. She does know me.

She doesn’t know me at all.

My fingers feel like talons, my shoulders and arms humped and ridged with bony muscles. My hair…I hate my hair no matter how long I try to make it. I look into my eyes. I take a few steps closer and burrow into them. What do I see?

What do you see?

I still see Bruce Jenner.

Not the Bruce Jenner the world now sees and wants and desires.

The Bruce Jenner I never wanted and never desired.

I am proud of my accomplishment. The day of the closing ceremonies at the Munich Olympics in 1972, where I finished tenth as a twenty‐two‐year‐old, even I was surprised to have gotten that far. I wondered, But what if I spend every minute of the next four years of my life training? What if I test myself to the limits to see how good I can become at something?

I did exactly that.

But now that I have won, how special it could possibly be if I could do it. I am a skilled athlete who works harder than the rest, who has to prove his manhood more than the rest. I may act self‐assured, but I still am not. I may exude an attractive confidence, but I feel neither confident nor attractive.

I still see Bruce Jenner.

Excerpted from THE SECRETS OF MY LIFE by Caitlyn Jenner. Copyright © 2017 CJ Memoires, LLC. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

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Watch Danell Leyva splash out of American Ninja Warrior

Danell Leyva
NBC
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Triple Olympic medalist Danell Leyva became the latest gymnast to appear on NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” splashing out of the “Leaps of Faith” in the latter portion of the course in the Los Angeles City Finals that aired Monday.

Leyva’s full run can be seen at the 44-minute mark here.

Leyva, a 27-year-old who took all-around bronze at the 2012 London Games and then retired with parallel bars and high bar silver in Rio, was cheered on by 2012 Olympic teammates Jonathan Horton and John Orozco. He previously completed the course at the Los Angeles City qualifier.

Horton has tackled ANW five times, according to the broadcast. Other gymnasts to appear on the show included Olympic all-around champions Nastia Liukin and Paul Hamm and, perhaps the show’s most famous competitor, former Towson University athlete Kacy Catanzaro.

Leyva could still make the Las Vegas finals, according to the broadcast.

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Chinese 13-year-olds go 1-2 at diving worlds; U.S. medal drought ends

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Reminiscent of one of its legendary divers, Chinese 13-year-olds took gold and silver in the women’s platform at the world diving championships on Wednesday. Delaney Schnell rallied for bronze, ending a 14-year U.S. medal drought.

Chen Yuxi and Lu Wei, both born in 2005, tallied 439 and 377.8 points, respectively, in Gwangju, South Korea. China is nine for nine in gold medals with four finals left this week. Schnell, who was in fifth place and 1.2 points back of third going into the last dive, ended up with 364.2.

No U.S. woman had earned an individual world platform medal since Laura Wilkinson‘s gold in 2005. Schnell, 20, was sixth at the 2016 Olympic trials and second at the 2017 World trials before placing 27th at her world debut two years ago.

Back in 1991, Chinese 12-year-old Fu Mingxia captured the world title on the platform. A year later, Fu took platform gold in Barcelona and remains the youngest Summer Olympic champion since 1960. Fu went on to win a Chinese record four individual Olympic diving titles.

Lu and Chen represent the next generation of Chinese female divers following the post-Rio retirements of their role model, Chen Ruolin, and Wu Minxia.

China is such a diving factory that it took gold and silver without the Rio Olympic platform champion, Ren Qian, who is not on this year’s world team. Ren, then 15 in Rio, became the youngest Olympic diving gold medalist since Fu.

China, two years after its least successful diving worlds since 2005, is moving closer to sweeping every gold medal at these worlds. They last accomplished the feat in 2011.

Earlier Wednesday, Chinese Xie Siyi (reigning world champion) and Cao Yuan (reigning Olympic champion) qualified first and second into Thursday’s men’s springboard final.

David Boudia, the 2012 U.S. Olympic platform champion, was a strong fourth in his first major international meet since Rio and switching to the springboard. Rio Olympian Michael Hixon also advanced in the 12th and last spot.

NBC Olympic Researcher Alex Azzi contributed to this report from Gwangju.

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