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On the Right Track: From Olympic Downfall to Finding Forgiveness and the Strength to Overcome and Succeed Hardcover – October 26, 2010

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It’s easy to be cynical about a mea culpa from an athlete who now admits she took performance-enhancing drugs. The drugs contributed to the five medals Jones won at the 2000 Summer Olympics. After her triumph, Jones lied to federal agents investigating the use of illegal PEDs and her knowledge of a check-fraud scheme. Jail time followed. She was stripped of her medals. The money spigot (from commercials and appearance fees) was turned off. Her athletic career was gone. Jones isn’t the first to write a book to explain her actions and document her sorrow—and, perhaps, to get herself back in the public eye. Setting aside cynicism and accepting her at her word, however, Jones hopes the book will be a cautionary tale for those faced with the choices she faced and an inspirational instructional for those—like her—who’ve made errors and need to reestablish their integrity. Readers hoping for a look inside the seamy PED culture will be disappointed; this isn’t that book. It is a forthright account of one athlete’s dizzying rise to fame, her precipitous fall, and the unexpected ramifications of both journeys. --Wes Lukowsky

Review

“A revealing and humbling account of a strong woman's pain of self-discovery . . . and how one bad decision, a decision made in less than 30 seconds, can change your life forever." (Robin Roberts, Good Morning America Anchor)

“Marion's story is a powerful, poignant reminder to us all that being true to yourself provides the power required to achieve success, endure profound failure, and be successful again." (Jackie-Joyner Kersee, Olympic medalist)

"A forthright account of one athlete’s dizzying rise to fame, her precipitous fall, and the unexpected ramifications of both journeys." (Booklist Review)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books; First Edition edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451610823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451610826
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,546,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marion Jones is a former world champion track and field athlete. She won five medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia but voluntarily returned all her Olympic medals and forfieted all her race results from September 2000 after admitting she lied to federal investigators about her use of a performance-enhancing drug.

After her release from prison, Marion sought to take her experiences and encourage others to learn from them. She is actively speaking to teens and other groups and spreading her "Take a Break" message through which she advices young people to stop, take a break, think and seek proper advice from people you trust and who have your best interests at heart before making critical decisions that will have a profound impact on their lives. In short, Marion encourages young and older people alike to stay on track and just do what's right.

Currently, Marion is living a dream deferred and is playing professional basketball as a Rookie for the WNBA team the Tulsa Shock in 2010. She and her husband and children make their home in Austin, Texas.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S. Richardson on November 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Another reviewer didn't read the book, yet rated it, so once I finished reading I felt compelled to write a review.

She does indeed own up to her own role, her own stupidity in taking performance enhancing drugs. She admits to lying to the feds, and her family.

I was hoping to hear that she is currently working on prison reform though. I picked the book up after hearing her interview on The Daily Show, and she mentioned the need for prison reform. However, she is a rookie with a WNBA team.

The writing is okay, the story fairly compelling at the start, but parts of it do drag on a little bit. Overall, it probably could have been a decent lengthy magazine article instead of a book.

I am giving it 4 stars, to outweigh the reviewer who gave it 1 without reading the book. It is probably truly a 3 though in terms of writing/keeping a reader's interest.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By derethaj on December 30, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The message in the book is a good one especially to young people but I think it tends to be preachy in some parts of the book. At times I felt like she was preaching about what you should and should not do based on what happened to her instead of telling the story of her life. Basically she is a good person who made a terrible mistake and paid for it with going to prison and losing six months of her life. In addition she lost the potential to make money doing something she loved-running. If it helps another young person then it is worth reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am glad that I stumbled upon this book. Like someone else said, it is a fast and easy read and it is perfect for young people. It is also pretty good for people who have made mistakes that they wish that they could take back. Her positive attitude and message of faith is strengthening. It is unexpectantly inspirational.
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Format: Paperback
ON THE RIGHT TRACK: FROM OLYMPIC DOWNFALL TO FINDING FORGIVENESS (Hachette Audio), written and read by Marion Jones, tells the story of the first woman ever to win five metals at one Olympics.

She was living an idyllic life until 2003 when she lied to federal agents about her use of performance-enhancing drugs and her knowledge of a check fraud scam. She eventually admitted the truth in 2007and it was then that she was stripped of all her metals and her track-and-field records were wiped from the books.

From there, it was on to incarceration at Carswell federal prison in Fort Worth, TX. Jones managed to keep in shape, and at the same time, she began to get her act together. She took responsibility for the mistakes that she made, and she attempted to share these mistakes with others so that they would not just give up when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK is an especially good book for high school and college athletes to read. In addition, be prepared to be touched as I was by the author's accounts of what prison life was all about, as well as by her attempts to get her life back in order.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela Wright on April 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I read Marion Jones' book because she was going to speak at the college where I teach. I'm very glad I read it. As one reviewer said, if readers are looking for the sordid details of athletes use of PEDs, they won't find it here. I also agree that the book is sometimes a little preachy. However, overall, Marion Jones is a very likeable woman who made a mistake and could have gotten away with it. The main story for me is that she couldn't live with herself and chose to re-open her connection to the authorities to confess that she knowingly took performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Marion stated at our college that she knew she could have excelled on her own merits because she had before, but she trusted her coach. Her message to young and old is to question and think for oneself. Great advice.

Marion talks about how to block negative talk and how to use positive visions to achieve success. She uses great examples (Jim Thorpe, for one). Finally, she talks about her life now as a basketball player; she received a basketball scholarship for undergraduate school at UNC and now plays professionally. Marion's message is one not only of hope but of how to focus positively and move forward, even when is seems life might be over.

On the Right Track: From Olympic Downfall to Finding Forgiveness and the Strength to Overcome and Succeed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Lerner on July 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
We all loved Marion. She was our hero, a beacon of poise and success. As she matured, her understanding of all the things she had been apart of in her life began to change. She turned towards God. She decided to come clean about using steroids leading upto and during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Recounting her public confession, as well as doing six months of hard prison time, the book is a very personal account of the mental anguish she experienced. Again and again she alludes to Biblical passages as the source of her strength to face this ordeal.
But Marion is all about motherhood and apple pie. She never really comes to grips with the cost of winning. She keeps telling us to "do the right thing" and "make the right choice", but sometimes that means you have to sacrifice your chance at the gold. When asked why she took steroids, the great American sprinter Kelli White (two golds at the World Championships, 2003) simply said, "I wanted to win." If doing the "right thing" - not taking PEDs would have meant living without fame and fortune, Marion would have disappeared from the spotlight long ago.
Marion Jones remains a compelling public figure if you are a fan. Her words provide inspiration and encouragement. On the other hand, her book falls short if you are looking for analysis or insight.
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