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Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold [Kindle Edition]

Bryan Clay , Joel Kilpatrick
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $24.99
Kindle Price: $16.99
You Save: $8.00 (32%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
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Book Description

This is the story of the most unlikely Olympic decathlete in history. Despite size and stature, Bryan Clay is the defending champion of the 2008 Olympic gold medal and winner of the 2004 Olympic silver medal in the decathlon. His journey is as inspiring as it is gritty, as troubled as it is triumphant.

Far more than just a sports memoir, Redemption details the drudgery, devastation, and ultimate conversion that led Bryan to become a world champion. ô[God] had a plan when I believed that dreams never came true because, in my life, they never did,ö says Bryan. Through a remarkable series of events and devoted prayers of his mother, BryanÆs life was turned around into a victorious narrative of truly being redeemed.

Editorial Reviews


"Kelly Dolan narrates world-champion athlete Bryan Clay’s compelling life story. In an even tone, Dolan perfectly renders Clay’s early academic indifference, involvement with drugs and gang violence, and family’s dysfunction. But despite unmanageable circumstances, Clay’s mother was steadfast in her belief in the power of God and in her son’s potential. Narrator Dolan’s portrayal of Clay’s mother has an authentic ring. Further, he provides a powerful account of the extraordinary disciplined training that developed Clay’s mind, spirit, and body, turning him into an Olympic decathlon medalist—silver 2004 and gold in 2008. Clay’s story of personal salvation explains why in competition he carries a banner that reads “. . . in Christ alone.” "
G.D.W. © AudioFile Portland, Maine

About the Author

Bryan Clay, watched by billions of television viewers in 2008, won the decathlon gold in Beijing and the silver in Athens in 2004. Bryan enjoys hunting, fishing, and the beach. He also counts it an honor and a privilege to coach and inspire children to make wise decisions, develop good time management skills, stay in school, follow their dreams, and maintain a well-balanced life style. Bryan and his wife, Sarah, have three children.

Joel Kilpatrick is an award-winning journalist, author, and humorist. Founder of, Kilpatrick earned an MS degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He and his wife have five children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 843 KB
  • Print Length: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 30, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005ENBBD8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #826,056 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring April 30, 2012
By SteveB
In ancient Greece the athletic ideal consisted of more than just prowess in a given sport. It was the combination of a healthy mind and a healthy body. The ancient Greeks believed that the development of the mind, spirit, and body were intimately joined, and that a true champion had mastered all areas. An athletic victory involved both the athlete's physical and moral virtues. Physical training was valued for its role in the development of not only one's physique but also one's character. It is in this light that one must read Olympic Gold Medalist Bryan Clay's autobiographical work, "Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold."
Clay went from a childhood involving drugs, violence, familial dysfunction and academic indifference to an adulthood that includes a healthy marriage, fatherhood, charitable foundations and Olympic gold. How he did this is the real story of "Redemption." It is a story of a mother's faith and unequivocal assurance that life had more in store for her son than his rocky beginnings. It is a story of a son's resistance, and eventual acceptance of that faith.
Clay, along with co-author Joel Kilpatrick , interweaves a story of personal salvation with a heavy dose of track and field insider information that this reviewer found fascinating. Clay's sport of choice, the decathlon, is far more grueling than I ever expected. The constant competition, grueling pace, and lack of sleep put it on par with any marathon event. And while the athletic aspect of the story is captivating, it pales in comparison to the internal war that raged in Clay's mind and spirit throughout much of the narrative. That he was able to overcome these internal battles and emerge such a successful and likable individual is a triumph of the true Olympic ideal.
Overall, the book is a very interesting a rewarding read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Redemption April 22, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great insight in the training of a decathlon athlete. Explains the amazing details of how the decathlon competition operates. Bryan's journey for the gold medal is inspiring. Bryan shares his life lessons with the reader and proves that we are not all world class athletes but we all can become champions in life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Integrity's Bright Line October 16, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I became a Bryan Clay fan during the 2004 Olympics, when all I knew about him was that he was a world-caliber athlete and that we had graduated from the same high school, albeit years apart.

Four years later, it was breathtaking to watch his performance in the 2008 Olympics and to celebrate his perseverance. Local and national stories focused on Clay's training and athleticism rather than on his life journey and choices: understandable, perhaps, in this age of the pithy sound bite, but not satisfying. Watching Clay and the other decathletes, it was obvious that their training and competitions are exacting and exhausting, and I wondered how they summon the mental and physical stamina to succeed simultaneously in multiple disciplines. However, decathletes seem to be like comets -- they blaze briefly and gloriously in predetermined four-year cycles -- so I was eager to read this memoir.

In "Redemption," Clay describes his journey of becoming an athlete and adult. He is detailed about his athletic development in a way that is comprehensible and interesting for laypeople. Equally intriguing are the glimpses he shares about his development as person. Vignettes from his childhood, including long hours with the family business, hint at the sources of his stamina and attention to detail. Candid retellings of miscues and missed choices show the development of a person who is willing to grow. I am being purposefully vague here because you should read those sections in his voice, unfiltered.

In 2012, Bryan Clay was poised to bring his best to London, but that didn't happen. He had a rough qualification meet in hurdles and discus, and did not place high enough to earn a spot on the three-man U.S. decathlon delegation. His memoir ends before the 2012 U.S.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing Melody Of A Meandering Youth. April 19, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you have a kid who is in school or College, this book might be the best gift for Christmas. American history is littered with sportsmen who have defied all odds and have reached new heights. There were rich kids born with golden spoon , and kids from ultra poor background. But Bryan was neither rich, nor poor. Neither living in the streets or with gang members. He was an ordinary kid .

He did smoke Marijuana, Wasted himself with alcohol,Was constantly in trouble with authorities; teachers, parents and Police. Could have got arrested for beating up, and took particular pride and satisfaction in it. Physically he was short and was not even close to how a budding champion will look like. Nor was his family a dream home.He was not particularly rich nor poor either. Even his path to Olympic gold was dotted with indiscipline.How did He make it to Olympics ? Read this interesting narrative,in simple god centric language, that anyone can relate to.While the story is inspiring, It is very well written, and Here are some examples :

" The odds were in favor of me landing in jail, getting hooked on drugs, or being involved in teenage pregnancy - not in favor of competing at any level in anything"
SCHOOL PLAYGROUND : " They were playing - I was competing"
TEACHERS: I don't remember many of my teachers,but I will never forget Mr. Awa because he taught me an important lesson. He was one of few who was willing to risk making me angry so he could teach me something. I didn't follow his advice right away,but it remained in the back of my mind for years.

THE PRACTICE: Our code of Honor said there was no excuse for not showing up ( fully drunk and wasted in late night parties)and performing even if our performance was sub par.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The mindset of a champion
It was so well written. I couldn't put it down. Such a great unfolding of his life and triumph. Thank you for writing such an inspiring book!
Published 7 months ago by Jeanne
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!
This was an amazing book! I devoured It in about 3 days and I am not an avid reader. I was extremely touched and encouraged by Bryans candidness and honesty. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Eric Redding
4.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad
I got this book in exchange for my honest review. Honestly I forgot to write a review of the book when I posted a review on my blog. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Proud Mom
4.0 out of 5 stars Story within the story
REDEMPTION has plenty of cliches about what it takes to be an Olympic athlete, but the real story of the book is the way Bryan Clay grew up and how he ended up a hard working... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Joel Holtz
5.0 out of 5 stars The testimony of an athlete...Letting Go and Letting GOD...
Olympic Champion Bryan Clay has written his testimonial in his autobiography "Redemption". This is a man who has endured a very tough childhood but was gifted with natural... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Joe Owen
4.0 out of 5 stars Zero to Hero
This book by its very nature is predictable. It is the true story of a kid who overcame the odds, through the help of his mother and those around him, to achieve Olympic... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mandy Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly inspirational even outside of athletics
This book is written in a conversational voice that makes for a quick read. It has an at times humorous and always positive voice. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Carel Miske
4.0 out of 5 stars "Focous on the little goals. Over time those little goals add up."
Bryan Clay's autobiography is a nice easy read that is an insider's look at the life of a decathlon athlete. Read more
Published 20 months ago by TooManyHobbies
5.0 out of 5 stars So Powerful!
This is a fantastic book. Clay's story is so inspiring and his faith is beautiful. One of my favorite portions is a section where Clay talks about learning what love truly is. Read more
Published 21 months ago by J Hart
4.0 out of 5 stars A personal and inspiring memoir
I stared at this book literally for months before finally deciding to read it... and now I'm rather sad I waited so long. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Emily J. Morris
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