Los Angeles Magazine recently featured UCLA’s very own gymnastics coach, Valorie Kondos Field in an article, which you can read online at their website here. It’s a great read, so be sure to check it out when you get a chance.
MISS VAL CAUGHT one of her girls staring at her breasts. It was May 2014, and Miss Val, the woman responsible for transforming UCLA gymnastics into one of the country’s elite programs, was about to begin her 22nd year as head coach. After waiting a week while her gymnastics team dealt with final exams, she had just informed them that she had been diagnosed with HER2-positive cancer, a particularly aggressive form. They were young women. They had their own secret fears and horror stories passed on to them by mothers and aunts and Lifetime movies, manifested in real time by the balance beam phenom who stared at Miss Val—hardly anybody calls her Valorie Kondos Field—with an oscillation of wonder and dread in her eyes. Now all of them were fixated on her breasts, which prompted Miss Val to entertain a dangerous notion.