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The Great Eight: How to Be Happy (Even When You Have Every Reason to be Miserable) Hardcover – January 6, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


“For the past twenty-seven years, Scott Hamilton has been a mentor and good friend. I’ve seen firsthand the struggles he has had to endure and how he has continued to persevere with a confident attitude. Everyone needs the positive message of this greatly inspiring book.” —Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Gold Medalist 

“I know and love Scotty Hamilton. You will, too, after you read this book.” —William Shatner 

“Scott Hamilton is a champion in more ways than one. In addition to being one of the world’s greatest ice skaters, he has mastered adversity and a multitude of challenges. The Great Eight is an inspiration to us all.” —Donald J. Trump

“Within the metaphors of his skating career, the wisdom in this book is not only very inspiring and easy to grasp but also surrounded by great storytelling.” —Brad Paisley, Grammy Award-winning artist

About the Author

Scott Hamilton is the 1984 Winter Olympics Gold medal men's figure skater, four-time World Champion, and four-time United States Champion who went on to become a producer, performer, broadcaster, author, actor, and spokesperson for cancer research. But Scott is also a survivor and optimist extraordinare. He and his wife Tracie are blessed with two beautiful boys, Aidan and miracle Maxx.

Ken Baker, a brain tumor survivor, is a pop culture journalist and Executive News Director for E! He's also the author of three books, including two memoirs, Man Made and They Don't Play Hockey in Heaven.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; First Edition edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785228942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785228943
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Wickwire on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"The Great Eight" gave me a sense of hope and can-do-it like nothing I've read in a very long time. It's not just one of those "be happy" primers but is a realistic look at how to live a passionate and joy-filled life in the middle of tough circumstances. Scott Hamilton is an incredible real-life example. He has done it and makes me believe that I can too!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie C. Newton on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I found this book right on the mark. To read about someone overcoming such odds with a positive attitude really helped me put my problems in perspective. I have always been a Scott Hamilton fan, so it was nice to be able to catch up with him and be inspired once again.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Lowry on January 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is not a book about ice-skating, but it is about skating through life and how, even though you don't come out unscathed, you can have hope. Scott uses his life as an example to show that no matter what comes at you unexpected and unwarranted you can rise above with faith. Great read!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Clifton L. Ditmore on January 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A fellow brain tumor survivor said to Scott Hamilton, Gold Medal Olympian and Hall of Fame figure skater, "Scott you have every reason to be miserable, but you're the happiest guy I've ever met. What's your secret?"

Scott Hamilton with Ken Baker tells us how to be happy in his book, The Great Eight, How to Be Happy (even when you have every reason to be miserable).He gives eight secrets to finding happiness. As a figure skater Scott had to learn to do on ice, what is called figure eights. He took the discipline he learned from perfecting figure eights and applied it to every aspect of his life. The eight principles he shares in this book are the lessons he lives by.

In this splendid book, Scott Hamilton shares stories from his own journey as a celebrity, Christian, husband, and cancer patient to illustrate the principles that have shaped his life. He challenges readers to take charge of their circumstances, commit to a goal, and go for the gold medal of happiness. Scott doesn't approach difficulties with a Pollyanna attitude. Instead he looks at life realistically and gives eight principles for living a happy life.

As a Senior Minister for forty-seven years I found chapter two, Trust Your Almighty Coach, the most interesting and helpful. In this chapter Scott talks about how faith in God will give meaning to your life and help you live the best life you possibly can.

This is a book you will read and share with others. However, you will have to buy another copy for your friends. You will not be able to part with yours. It will be a reference book for life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By on June 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Few Olympic medalists have stayed in the spotlight as long as figure skater Scott Hamilton, who turned "pro," added "entertainment" elements such as the back flip to his repertoire, and took an ongoing principal role in the Stars on Ice touring production. He has been a sports commentator, played himself in a movie at age 50, and run the paces of Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice." Hamilton exudes a joie de vivre. He seems to have done something right. Here, in this inspiring book, he shares his "secret" with the world.

Twenty-five years ago Scott Hamilton won the Olympic gold medal in men's figure skating. Despite some mistakes on the televised, choreographed program, Hamilton took the top prize because he had scored so well on the prescribed technical routine. His specialty? The mandatory figure eights, which require precision, balance, stamina --- and endless practice. "Everything I've learned about how to find happiness stems from what I learned through the repetition and discipline of perfecting my figure eights."

Jumping off from that theme of "eights," Hamilton lays out eight principles for finding happiness that have served him well, despite professional setbacks, a battle with testicular cancer and, later, the trauma of a benign brain tumor. Each chapter, connected to some aspect of his sport/profession, outlines a self-help book that is so personal it also might be categorized as a memoir.

Hamilton's slow-start --- sickly --- childhood is covered in chapter 1: "Fall, Get Up, and Land Your First Jumps." Here he introduces the happiness found not just in winning but in "process.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jay F. Grissom on June 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book didn't really get me excited. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked it up... I was thinking perhaps of a more powerful writing style.

It was a great narration on Scott Hamilton's life and beliefs... but it was a pretty dull read.

When contrast presented itself, the pain was drawn out while the victories are snapshots. In this book pain is like a 2 hour long movie compared to victory which is only a fleeting glimpse at photo.

An example of this is in one heading in the book called "A slippery Start". It begins with a miserably cold day and ends with the statement about experiencing a lifetime's worth of physical trauma.

These surround a brief moment of "tentative skating".

I would hope the focus on negativity, is meant to contrast the power of Scott's personal philosophies but I just didn't enjoy reading it.

It is almost like everything begins by focusing on the pain then a moment of elation is added at the end.

I would much more have preferred hearing about the power of the victories first so the pain could be a nice way to illustrate the power and meaning of the victories... in this case you start with a lot of bad and get a sprinkle of good.

A lot of god with a dash of bad to illustrate the point would have kept me more excited.

The beginning of Chapter 5 is a great example: Three paragraphs explaining a bad situation and only 1 single sentence on how to deal with it. And, even then he offers no results that demonstrate the way to deal with it will actually work. Or even an explanation of how it might work.

Then when he does offer more it is droning on about the same DOGMA that you hear everywhere.
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