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The Gold Medal Secret

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) #173
Author: Wilhelm, Doug
Illustrators: Mangiat, Jeff (cover)
La Padula, Tom (interior)
Release Date: 1996
User Summary: You're a member of the women's swim team at the 1996 Summer Olympics. As soon as you get there, a competitor hands you evidence that she and her teammates have been coerced into taking performance enhancers.
Fireguard's Thoughts: First off, I honestly did not realize that when I bought this along with a bunch of other CYOA books, it would be exactly twenty years later during the summer Olympics, but there you have it.

The intrigue of revealing corruption at the Olympic games was an interesting plot and the book was pretty well-written aside from a couple of hiccups like the awkward, semi-simplistic description of how steroids work partially mentioned in Waluigi's review. Although part of that awkwardness comes from how the reader's mostly slapped in the face with it, with a teammate deciding it bears mentioning since some of the female swimmers have suspiciously masculine builds, not after one of the accused swimmers gives you the drug test results when it would've been a smoother way to explain it for readers not in the know.

That's my biggest gripe, though, a clunky introduction. Once you're past that having to navigate a web of unscrupulous trainers and officials becomes a pretty entertaining read. Not a classic of the series by any means, but certainly better than I was worried after the abruptness of the steroid explanation.

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Waluigi Freak 99's Thoughts: I was a bit surprised by the fact that the reader is given a gender in this book, as the Choose Your Own Adventure series, in its writing, at least, usually tends to be gender-neutral. I guess this seems like a way to compensate for the martial arts books. There was a good premise here, although it could be explained a bit better. (There certainly must be a better way to describe steroids than "pills that turn you into a boy"). The fairly few endings and other flaws are compensated by the well-written plot threads, resulting in an average entry for the series.

More reviews by Waluigi Freak 99

Special Thanks:Thanks to Fireguard for the plot summary.
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