November 01, 1999 12:00 PM

Skating Toward Life’s Victories

by Peggy Fleming with Peter Kaminsky

She has captured Olympic gold (in 1968), remained happily married to her teenage sweetheart and successfully combined motherhood with a career at ABC Sports. But Peggy Fleming’s life hasn’t been all clean skating. Growing up “without a whole lot of money,” she says she later identified with the scrappy Tonya Harding (who was not a “villain,” she writes, but rather someone who “surrounded herself with the wrong people”). But unlike Harding, the highly disciplined Fleming is no whiner. Her nose can turn purple (as it did while filming in Leningrad in the teeth of a minus-40-degree wind chill), she can battle infertility or breast cancer or learn that her 21-year-old son has gotten his girlfriend pregnant. Still, Fleming will find the sunny side and soldier on. Call it resilience or call it denial, it’s a quality that renders this chatty biography both intimate and distant. Which, given Fleming’s standing as our most enduring ice princess, makes perfect sense. (Pocket, $24.95)

Bottom Line: Another smooth performance

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