The Olympics will showcase the best-of-the-best at the pinnacle of their athletic career. What we don’t usually see is how they got there – the struggle and heartbreak and private triumphs. Here are some new biographies that give us a glimpse of just how hard it can be.

In the Water They Can’t See You Cry by Amanda Beard – A seven-time Olympic medalist describes her battles with depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse in spite of her successful career, recounting how she hid her struggles from her loved ones before seeking help and finding renewal in the birth of her son.

Winning Balance : What I’ve Learned So Far by Shawn Johnson – Iowa native Johnson is a four-time Olympic gold and silver medalist; a national and world champion athlete and a winner on the popular “Dancing with the Stars.” This is the amazing true journey of how this young Olympian has found balance in her life.

The Price of Gold : the Toll and Triumph of One Man’s Olympic Dream by Marty Nothstein – Traces the story of track cyclist Marty Nothstein from his upbringing in a blue-collar home to his gold-medal victory at the Olympic games, recounting how his dedication often forced him to explore his vulnerabilities as an athlete.

Off Balance by Dominique Moceanu – An unflinchingly honest memoir from Olympic gold medalist Moceanu that reveals the often dark underbelly of Olympic gymnastics as only an insider can–and the secrets she learned about the past that nearly tore apart her family.

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