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Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold Hardcover – May 1, 2012

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Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold + The 100 Greatest Track & Field Battles of the 20th Century + Running for My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849948274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849948275
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #910,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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.

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Customer Reviews

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Redemption by Bryan Clay with Joel Kilpatrick is an inspiring story about how a life can be completely changed with faith.
Sheri Newton
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program.
This book is the autobiography of Bryan Clay, a decathlete from Hawaii who has won silver and gold medals in the Olympics.
V. Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SteveB on April 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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 By Dr S. Moore on 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ck TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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 By Amanda Talbert on August 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I recently had the opportunity to read a book called "Redemption" by Bryan Clay. When I chose to review this book, I will be honest - it's because it looked the best out of all the options. It wasn't because I thought I would enjoy it, or because I knew who Bryan Clay was (an amazing Olympic athlete.) I actually put off reading the book for a couple of weeks because I don't normally like autobiographies very much. When I did finally pick up this book it took me just a couple of nights to read the whole thing. Bryan has a great testimony. He spent his childhood dealing with a broken family, constantly getting into trouble, and running from God as fast as possible. But his mother just as constantly was on her knees praying for his future. It's amazing to read his story and see how he came from a kid who just liked to run to an Olympic athlete.

For me, reading his story of growing in his faith was really interesting. Bryan is a completely likeable person, and he was so honest about all of his feelings throughout his early years growing up and in college. But then I was also intrigued by his details of what was happening in his track & field life. As a former track star (okay, okay, that's over-reaching!) I knew many of the sports he was discussing, but I'd never heard of a decathlon. I never knew the physical stamina you must have for events that seem so simple, like javelin-throwing and the high jump. I was really into those parts of the book.

I finished the book around 11:00pm last night and immediately started Googling Bryan. I have not been watching the Olympics this year and I was now berating myself - if he was participating I definitely wanted to watch! Unfortunately he did miss the Olympic trials this year and is commentating rather than competing.
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