Unsinkable: A Memoir

Unsinkable A Memoir A surprising and inspiring story of courage perseverance and the triumph of the human spirit Just ten weeks before the Olympic Games Silken Laumann the reigning world champion in single sculls

  • Title: Unsinkable: A Memoir
  • Author: Silken Laumann Sylvia Fraser
  • ISBN: 9781443419093
  • Page: 218
  • Format: ebook
  • A surprising and inspiring story of courage, perseverance and the triumph of the human spirit.Just ten weeks before the 1992 Olympic Games, Silken Laumann, the reigning world champion in single sculls rowing, suffered a brutal accident that left her right leg shattered and useless Doctors doubted that she would ever row competitively again But twenty seven days, five opeA surprising and inspiring story of courage, perseverance and the triumph of the human spirit.Just ten weeks before the 1992 Olympic Games, Silken Laumann, the reigning world champion in single sculls rowing, suffered a brutal accident that left her right leg shattered and useless Doctors doubted that she would ever row competitively again But twenty seven days, five operations and countless hours of gruelling rehabilitation later, Silken was back in her racing shell, ready to pursue her dream When the starter s pistol rang out on August 2, she made the greatest comeback in Canadian sports history, rowing to a bronze medal finish while the world watched, captivated by her remarkable story Silken became one of Canada s most beloved Olympians and has continued to inspire, encouraging people to dream, live in the moment and embrace life s unexpected, difficult and amazing journey.But there was a massive barrier in her path that she has never before spoken about, a hidden story much darker than the tale of her accident Now, Silken bravely shines a spotlight on all the obstacles she has encountered and overcome in Unsinkable, a memoir that reveals not only new insights into her athletic success and triumph over physical adversity, but also the intense personal challenges of her past and the fierce determination she applies to living a bold, loving and successful life today.Time after time, this courageous champion has proven to be unsinkable Silken s extraordinary story offers us an intimate look at the complicated woman behind the Olympic hero, showing how perseverance and optimism can allow anyone to embrace the incredible opportunities that often go hand in hand with adversity.

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    One thought on “Unsinkable: A Memoir”

    1. I expected a cliche story about a young female athlete overcoming the odds to compete at the Olympics so she could become a hero for her country. I did not get that from this book. In fact, this memoir surprised the hell out of me. This book is a frank, honest depiction of depression and anxiety and mental illness. It's about surviving crippling childhood shame. It's about discovering that you are locked in a cycle of abuse. Its about ending that cycle. It's a story about anguish and pain and fe [...]

    2. 2/3 of this book was very interesting and worth a read, even somewhat inspirational, the other 1/3 was a little to preachy for me, but I found I could easily skim through the dull sections. Worth learning about the interesting and imperfect life of a canadian legend.

    3. Silken Laumann's reflections on her life are as brutally honest as they are inspiring. While rowing and olympics are obviously a big part of the book, I was surprised about how much else there is to her. Hearing about the breakdown of her first marriage as well as the difficult relationships she has with her parents was just as interesting as her stories about competing in the olympics.Silken honestly reflects on her struggles with her own body-image, self harming tendencies, disordered eating, [...]

    4. I was a big fan of Silken Laumann's comeback story when she overcame a horrific leg injury to win a bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. In this memoir, Laumann covers the harrowing details of that accident and her gritty recovery early—clearing the decks to turn her attention to the focus of this book, her ongoing recovery from a tumultuous childhood she blames for developing an eating disorder and cutting herself. Laumann does a good job of capturing the life and drive of an athlete [...]

    5. How this woman survived and then recovered from her traumatic injury is beyond words, despite having read the book I'm still at a loss for how much strength and courage she has. The book awesomely portrays her journey, and it explains things, I felt that I wanted to know a bit more about her method of recovery rather than about her family life. It felt more like an autobiography of her overall life rather than a book about recovering from a traumatic event, which is what I hoped it would be. I c [...]

    6. This book did not endear me to Silken Laumann. I found her preachy and not empathetic. But I deeply admire her accomplishments. I think I need to attend one of her motivational talks before I give a final verdict. After reading this book though I now find it difficult to take advice from her accept on how she overcame adversity in the rowing arena.She was very brave to talk about her childhood and especially about her Mother. I believe her when she recounts those events.

    7. I would give this 3.5 stars if allowed half stars. I enjoyed this book, it was a quick read and well written. Silken was very honest about her life and I enjoyed the fact that she did not exclusively focus on her rowing.

    8. A Beautiful, Hopeful, and Courage Memoir of an Olympian Star’s Honest Life—Empowering All! Currently, A Canadian Best-Seller!

    9. Having known Silken and John for many years, it was awkward reading the intimate details of their marriage and divorce (even though the narration isn't very intimate in itself). The best parts of the book are learning how raising an autistic daughter has influenced her life and her views on role sport can improve girls' lives.I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thoughtful biography and personal journeys.

    10. When I opened this book, I was hoping to read about the demands of training for international level rowing competition. I hoped to learn about facing the endless early mornings, managing tension and camaraderie with other rowers, descriptions of the different regatta venues, the style of coaching, and the stress and strain of making a rapid comeback after a horrific injury. I wanted to read about the inequality that women face in competitive sports, and how it is changing only slowly, and what's [...]

    11. I did not give a rating for this book because I didn't finish it. I got 60 pages into it (the first part entitled "Olympic Magic") and was really just not feeling it. I have to say, I found Silken to be quite self-centered and narcissistic. I felt badly about feeling that way, because this period was clearly very stressful and trying for Silken and it was crucial for her to remain focused on what she believed she needed to do, but I found myself not caring for the way she treated other people. S [...]

    12. I don't often read biographies and am not sure what drew me to this one, except the inescapable fact that I found so many books titled Unsinkable when I checked it out at our library. So I chose 2. And I'm pleased that I did.Silken Laumann is an indomitable soul, no question. Her strength of character speaks through each word. She also has quite human failings, as we all do. This book is a reflection of her life, her challenges, her failures and her successes. Silken experienced a brutal acciden [...]

    13. I appreciated the frankness and genuineness of the book, but someone needed to edit Silken's story. It felt as if the author dictated it, and there was too much repetition and too much detail where it wasn't warranted. The use of non-linear storytelling was also used too much. While effective at the beginning, to draw in the reader with a climatic event, it was a bit off-putting later. I was a bit surprised that Silken's councillor never offer the suggestion that her mother might be narcissistic [...]

    14. This was undoubtedly a cathartic book for Silken Laumann to write. It was surely of interest to the rowing community and to her friends and family. It probably evoked strong reactions from most of them. I enjoyed learning more about Laumann's rowing career, and particularly the accident just before the Barcelona Olympics. I would have liked to hear much more about the doping scandal from the Benedryl, e.g. how it impacted her and her colleagues, how it was handled by officials, etc. I was very p [...]

    15. Laumann wrote her memoir with the assistance of prolific Canadian writer Sylvia Fraser, so I need not comment on writing style, other than to say, it's a professional piece of work.I enjoy most memoirs, and I did this one, as well. Regardless of fame,and success, Laumann, a well-known Olympian speaks to the many other challenges in her life, in addition to that of world-class achievement in her sport of rowing. She talks about her family of origin, and the emotional problems therein: her marriag [...]

    16. I didn't know Silken Laumann before seeing the presentation of her book. Her story intrigued me, how she recovered after a serious accident and nobody expected her to be ready for the Olympics. This must be a strong and determined woman! The book begins with the rowing accident and her rowing career. Later it moves to her family, especially her difficult, unpredictable mother. She is also very honest about her mental issues, like depression. I enjoyed reading her story, but towards the end I jus [...]

    17. Silken's story helps me understand the difference in personalities between competing as a team and as an individual. She always has to come first. That's the way an individual wins and it can't be turned on and off.To the reviewers who found Silken self-centred, etc it's (a) an autobiography (b) of someone who can only focus on herself if she is, as is expected if not demanded, to bring home medals.The book is well written and extremely interesting. My only troubling insight is that this is prob [...]

    18. A fascinating book about a self-admittedly flawed person from a flawed family who achieved greatness through perseverance, passion, practice, and more practice.Silken's description of her success indicates that anyone can achieve greatness if they are willing to take a good hard look at their strengths and weaknesses, play to them, and committed to practicing, practicing, and then practicing some more.An inspiring read.

    19. Unsinkable follows the story of the famous rower Silken Laumann involved in a terrible rowing accident that left her with a bashed up calf after a German boat collided with her own. Despite her injury, Silken was determined to overcome her injury and row in the Olympics, scheduled to take place 10 months later.See my full review here--> fictiondepictions.wordpress.c

    20. I liked the story, because of the message it has. You can achieve anything if you have a determination, and self confidence, you can dream big and nothing is impossible, you have to believe in yourself. But on the opposite self doubt can destroy you faster than anything coming from the outside world. You are your own worst enemy. Silken story teaches us that you can turn your life around and that is what she did.I would recommend this story.

    21. I took a lot of courage to write this book and kudos to Silken for writing it. She spoke of difficult subjects and her own difficult journey. My disappointment near the end was that she wrote in "bumper stickers", truisms, slogans instead of her own words. But then maybe those are all the words we have on some subjects.

    22. A little hard to get into. Once you realize that everyone has a story apart from their public image it is hard to put down! Very inspiring and motivational. Very brave of Silken to talk of her struggles. Found it very touching when she talks about the stigma of mental health and having children with learning disabilities. Recommend it highly!

    23. Not what I expected to read, but certainly an inside look at what it means to be an Olympic athlete. There was some inspiration to be found in the determination of this woman, and it never occurred to me that listening to negative stories from others can harm a healing process. Well, it makes sense if there are lots of stories, but Silken doesn't allow for any.

    24. A good read that shows a side of Silken that not many knew about. She is honest to the point of bragging about her accomplishments but also about the issues she's had to deal with throughout her life and that she continues to deal with today. An interesting quick read.

    25. This book was just Meh (if that is a word). Yes Silken has had lots of issues in her life, but I just didn't really enjoy reading about it. I would not recommend this unless you are a huge fan and really want to read about her.

    26. Not quite what I expected. The writing was quite simple, and it was a quick read. The tone got a bit preachy at times, particularly the parts about her willing her body to heal and communicating with her leg. I was hoping for more about her rowing career too!

    27. This was a major disappointment for me. What could have been a book that was both inspiring and insightful was just such a gigantic bore that I found myself skimming whole chapters, and ultimately, about 2/3rds of the way through, I was done. I just didn't care any more.

    28. Interesting read, but I'm not sure that I like her after reading this book. I understand there is a certain amount of ego involved to train and compete at such a high level. I know that your own words you write about yourself are biased. I'm just not sure I like her now.

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