Through our involvement with the National Football League, we have gotten to know Kim Anthony quite well, and she is truly a remarkable person. Kim is married to Corwin Anthony, Chaplain for the Miami Dolphins (2000-2010) and National Director of Pro Ministries for Athletes In Action. Because the Anthonys were so involved with our players and staff, we’ve attended many NFL events with them over the years—chapel services at Dolphins games, NFL owners meetings, Super Bowl breakfasts, and other events. Our friendship with the Anthonys has grown primarily because of our mutual interests.
From the first day we were introduced, Kim had that special glow that attracts people to her. She is very attractive, friendly, and outgoing, but it is her inner spirit that really stands out. She is polished and articulate and always seems at ease with everyone. In short, the Kim Anthony that we came to know seemed to have it all together, all the time.
In reading Unfavorable Odds, however, we were introduced to Kim Hamilton, the girl who would grow to become Kim Anthony. Her story is riveting and compelling. We could have never imagined the things Kim has been through and the challenges she has experienced. She speaks openly of living in a home where her dad was in and out of her life, offering very little stability. She describes growing up with meager resources in Richmond, Virginia, living without the material comforts most of us take for granted, and having to deal with the myriad of issues confronting a young girl in that environment.
Kim also details her unlikely journey from sidewalk acrobat to world-class gymnast and the inner tensions that developed along the way. After growing up in an all black neighborhood, she had to adapt to traveling in an affluent, mostly white world while receiving criticism from her old friends that perhaps she was changing and abandoning her roots. As if that weren’t enough, she was learning about athletic pressure—the physical and mental demands of training to compete at an Olympic level while trying to maintain good grades through high school and college.
As a maturing, young woman, Kim was also searching to find herself, not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually. There was pressure to maintain a “gymnast’s body,” one that would appeal to the media and the judges rather than one that was natural for her. She was also learning about college life, relationships, and what it’s like living in the public eye. There was a lot going on in Kim Hamilton’s world, enough that it certainly could have derailed her career and her life.
But this is not a book that is merely about problems, setbacks, and tough times in life. The exciting thing about this story is that Kim’s experiences provide answers. She talks passionately about finally finding her identity and security. She shows how she overcame some huge obstacles and how she won the battle against low self-esteem not by what she did but by whom she trusted.
Having met Kim when she was an adult and not knowing her life story, we marvel at how she grew up and what she has accomplished. In retrospect, you can certainly see God’s hands at work in shaping and molding her. As parents, and also as concerned adults who are involved in shaping our next generation, it is so encouraging to read her story and realize that there is really no limit to what any of our children can grow to become. Kim Hamilton Anthony’s story is truly inspirational. It gives us all hope that no matter where we start from, no matter what adversity we have to work through, it is possible to succeed in life with hard work and determination. But, more importantly, she also shows that the best way to overcome life’s challenges and issues is through discovering your identity with God.
Thank you, Kim, for having the courage to share your life so openly in this book. We know it will be a blessing to people of all ages and genders, and especially to those who are dealing with issues of identity and self-esteem.
Tony and Lauren Dungy