NEW YORK - Gold medal-winning Olympic swimmer Amanda Beard wants to set an example outside the water, as well as in it.

Touchstone announced Beard is working on a memoir that will tell of her life away from the pool, a "harrowing journey" through drugs, alcohol and eating disorders.

The 29-year-old Beard won Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004.

Beard says she hopes her memoir "will help others, especially high school and college-aged women, who may be dealing with some of the same issues."

"In the Water They Can't See You Cry" will be co-written by Beard's manager, Evan Morgenstein, and will be released in April 2012. The book is timed to come out before Beard competes for the 2012 games in London.

Touchstone is an imprint of Simon & Schuster.