Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Sonja Steptoe
Jackie Joyner-Kersee is one of the world's most successful athletes, and has dominated the women's decathlon for many years. With this book, Jackie discusses how she has overcome her difficult early years to rise to the top.
Oscar Pistorius's inspirational memoir tells of an incredible, emotional journey from disabled toddler to international sports phenomenon. At 11 months old, Oscar Pistorius had both his legs amputated below the knee. His mother wrote a letter to be read by Oscar when he was grown up: "A loser is not one who runs last in the race. It is the one who sits and watches, and has never tried to run." On discovering that their son had been born with no fibulae, Oscar's parents made the difficult decision to have both his legs amputated, giving him the best possible chance of a normal life. Oscar received his first pair of prosthetic legs at just 17 months, made specifically for him. From then on he became invincible: running, climbing, and, with the encouragement of his older brother, getting into any mischief he could. Throughout the course of his life Oscar has battled to overcome extraordinary difficulties to prove that, with the right attitude, anything is possible. Now a world-renowned athlete holding two Paralympic world records for the 100m and 200m, Oscar faces his ultimate fight—to fulfill the dream of competing at the 2012 Olympics. Blade Runner charts the extraordinary development of one of the most gifted sportsmen and inspirational figures on the planet, from immobilized child to world-class sprinter. This new edition is fully revised and updated and contains exclusive new chapters and pictures, as well as sporting a brand new cover design. If he qualifies to compete in the Olympics, he WILL make history and the coverage of his achievement will be extensive. Oscar Pistorius is "the titan of the track" (the Star) having won three gold medals at the Paralympics in Beijing for the 100m, 200m, and 400m.
Eric Liddell, the Scottish 400m Olympic champion from the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris was immortalised in the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire. His story, however, goes far beyond the restrictions of a 2-hour movie. Julian Wilson’s vivid biography recounts not only the highs and lows of Liddell's athletics career, including his controversial decision never to run on a Sunday, but also his life after the Olympics as a missionary in war-torn China. The book draws upon interviews with Liddell's surviving family and friends, and includes some fascinating anecdotes, reminiscences, extracts from his letters and a number of rare photographs.
The autobiography of the fastest man of all time and a superstar whose talent and charisma have made him one of the most famous people on the planet.
Whether you know Athletics or not, and even whether you know sport or not, chances are you know Usain Bolt. The fastest man on the planet, not just now but ever, Usain has won the hearts of people everywhere with his mind-blowing performances and his infectious charisma – uniting supporters around the world.
In this, his full autobiography, Usain tells his story in his own words: from humble beginnings in Jamaica, to international stardom at Beijing and on to the new heights of superstardom he has reached since lighting up London 2012.
Full of the charm and charisma that has made him the most popular sporting figure of our time and a universal celebrity, this is a book that Usain’s millions of fans will love.
Jacqueline Edmondson Ph.D.
In an era far removed from the African American celebrity athletes of today, Olympic great Jesse Owens achieved fame by running faster and jumping farther than anyone in the world. Author Jacqueline Edmondson explores Owens' struggles and hard-earned accomplishments, as well as how he paved the way for future generations of athletes, including color-line shatterer Jackie Robinson.
Robert W. Wheeler
Born in 1888 in Oklahoma Territory, Jim Thorpe was a Sac and Fox Indian. After attending the Sac and Fox agency school and Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence, Kansas, he transferred to Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania. At Carlisle he led the football team to victories over some of the nation’s best college teams-Army, Navy, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska. In 1912 he participated in the Olympic Games in Stockholm, winning both the decathlon and pentathlon. It was then that King Gustav V of Sweden dubbed him "the world’s greatest athlete."
Between 1913 and 1919, Thorpe played professional baseball for the New York Giants, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Boston Braves. In 1915 he began playing professional football with the Canton (Ohio) Bulldogs. When the top teams were organized into the American Professional Football Association in 1920, Thorpe was named the first president of the league, which was renamed the National Football League in 1922. Throughout his career he excelled in every sport he played, earning King Gustav’s accolade many times over.
Paula Radcliffe has been hailed as one of the finest female distance runners of all time. Her amazing run of record-breaking victories in 2002 and 2003, including smashing the women’s world marathon record in Chicago and then again in London, showed an athlete at the peak of her powers. Such was her dominance that a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens seemed almost a formality. But as the world watched, and a nation held its breath, that historic race ended for her on a dusty curbside instead of the podium. Paula has become a passionate spokesperson against drug cheats and, inspired by her own battle with the condition, is widely admired for her patronage of asthma charities. And even though Athens in 2004 proved to be more Greek tragedy than triumph, her popularity remains undimmed. Her remarkable life story of highs and lows is fully chronicled in this fascinating and inspiring autobiography.
The story of America's greatest running legend.
For five years, no American runner could beat him at any distance over a mile. But at the age of 24, with his best years still ahead, long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine finally lost. Driving alone at night after a party, Prefontaine crashed his sports car, putting a tragic, shocking end to the life and career of one of the most influential, accomplished runners of our time.
More than 20 years later, Pre continues to influence the running world.
From his humble origins in Coos Bay, Oregon, Pre became the first person to win four NCAA titles in one event. Year after year, he was virtually unbeatable. Instead of becoming one of the new breed of professional track athletes, Pre chose to stay amateur and fight for the adequate funding he felt American amateur athletes deserved.
A man of incredible desire and energy, Pre trained relentlessly. In his drive to be the best, he spurred others to do their best. As one racer said, "He ran every race as if it were his last."
But Pre not only touched runners; his exciting technique as well as his maverick lifestyle made him a favorite of the fans. A race with Prefontaine in it was automatically an event.
His brief but brilliant life is the tale of a true American hero.
One second in time may separate the great athlete from the merely good. Seb Coe has made every second count. From an early age he has been driven to be the best at everything he does. Since the moment Coe stood alongside a "scrubby" municipal running track in Sheffield, he knew that sport could change his life. Breaking an incredible twelve world records, and three of them in just forty-one days, Seb became the only athlete to take gold at 1500 metres in two successive Olympic Games—at Moscow in 1980, and at Los Angeles in 1984. The same passion galvanized Coe in 2005, when he led Britain's bid to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to London. He knew that if the UK won, it would regenerate an East London landscape and change the lives of thousands of young people. Born in Hammersmith and coached by his engineer father, Coe went from a secondary modern school and Loughborough University to become the fastest middle-distance runner of his generation. His rivalry with Steve Ovett gripped a nation and made Britain feel successful at a time of widespread social discontent. From sport Coe transferred his ideals to politics, serving in John Major's Conservative government from 1992 to 1997 and developing "sharp elbows" to become chief of staff to William Hague, leader of the Party from 1997 to 2001, and finally a member of the House of Lords. Running My Life is in turns exhilarating, inspiring, amusing, and extremely moving. Everyone knows where Sebastian Coe ended up. Few people realize how he got there. This is his personal journey.
The 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam were the first in which women—over the objections of many, including Pope Pius XI and the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin—were allowed to run in the marquee track events.
Equally remarkable is the story behind the first female gold medal winner in the 100-meter dash, sixteen-year-old American Betty Robinson. A prodigy running in just her fourth organized meet, Robinson stunned the world, earning special praise from the president of the 1928 American Olympic Committee, General Douglas MacArthur. But Robinson’s triumph soon became tragedy when in 1931 she was involved in a life-threatening plane crash. Unable to assume a sprinter’s crouch, she nevertheless joined fellow pioneer Jesse Owens at the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympics, and achieved further glory on the relay team. Journalist Joe Gergen’s The First Lady of Olympic Track rescues an exceptional figure from obscurity.
It was a blustery late spring day in 1954 and a young Oxford medical student flung himself over the line in a mile race. There was an agonising pause, and then the timekeeper announced the record: three minutes, fifty-nine point four seconds. But no one heard anything after that first word – ‘three’. One of the most iconic barriers of sport had been broken, and Roger Bannister had become the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. To this day, more men have conquered Mount Everest than have achieved what the slender, unassuming student managed that afternoon. Sixty years on and the letters still arrive on Roger Bannister’s doormat, letters testifying to the enduring appeal of the four-minute mile and the example it set for the generation of budding athletes who were inspired to attempt the impossible. In this frank memoir, Sir Roger tells the full story of the talent and dedication that made him not just one of the most celebrated athletes of the last century but also a distinguished doctor, neurologist and one of the nation’s best-loved public figures. With characteristically trenchant views on drugs in sport, the nature of modern athletics and record breaking, the extraordinary explosion in running as a leisure activity, and the Olympic legacy, this rare and brilliant autobiography gives a fascinating insight into the life of a man who has lived life to the fullest.
Maureen Margaret Smith
Wilma Rudolph was born into a large family and struggled with health problems for the first several years of her life, including polio. Though she had trouble even walking, her love of sport and movement motivated her to rehabilitate her legs. Rudolph would blossom into athletic talent and after earning a scholarship to Tennessee State, qualified for the 1960 Olympic Games where she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field.
Throughout her life, Wilma Rudolph faced many barriers and yet she was able to overcome the odds to become an Olympic gold medalist. After hanging up her spikes, Wilma would teach second grade and coach track at her former high school. This work describes her life in detail, and includes a timeline of significant events in her life.