"The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat" That's how the newspapers hailded Joe Davis' sensational gymnastics performance, contrasting it with the terrible accident just suffered by Terry, his close friend and team-mate. A disjointed home life in Pittsburgh, a lost father appearing out of nowhere and a high school principal recommending Joe for intensive psychiatric therapy: these are not ideal building blocks for a career that takes the "Ebony Gazelle" to the Los Angeles Olympics, to total triumph, mels and acceptance on the team. But there are other problems for Joe: things you can't hide if you're an overnight celebrity. Personal things. Read this probing and oftentimes highly charged account of a boy grappling with shyness, rites of passage, sudden fame and emotional emptiness. Then hear the roar of the crowd, and revel in the thrill of victory, in Innocence Lost.
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