- Library Binding: 352 pages
- Publisher: Paw Prints 2008-06-05; Reprint edition (June 5, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1435297733
- ISBN-13: 978-1435297739
- Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,542,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gold in the Water: The True Story of Ordinary Men and Their Extraordinary Dream of Olympic Glory Library Binding – June 5, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Olympic fans undoubtedly remember the wonderful performances of the U.S. swimmers at the 2000 Olympics in Australia. What viewers may not fully understand is the grueling training endured by a larger group of swimmers who trained for other meets leading up to the trials and Olympic competition. Mullen, a sports writer and competitive swimmer, focuses on the Santa Clara Swim Club, two athletes Tom Wilkens and Kurt Grote and their coach, Dick Jochums. The author provides an intimate look at the physical training along with the emotional and psychological roller-coaster ride for the swimmers as they try to make the Olympic team. As coach, Jochums also endures serious hardships, including bankruptcy of the swim club and accusations of financial misconduct. Mullen skillfully details exactly what the swimmers are feeling (e.g., "Now Wilkins was furious.... He was in the best shape of his life, he'd just swum in the world's fastest pool, and his time was more than 1.5 second slower than his best. He needed to find an outlet for his fury...." Sports fans and anyone who has trained for competition will find this book enjoyable.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* When we watched the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, we saw athletes in their prime, ready to take on their biggest challenge. But how did they get there? What kind of training was required? What toll did this preparation take on the athletes' personal lives? What's at stake at the Olympics, and how will defeat affect the person who has dedicated nearly his or her whole life to the dream of Olympic gold? This book chronicles the U.S. swimming team's journey to the 2000 Olympics, and we soon discover that although the training started in January 1998, the dreaming began a whole lot earlier. Like the best sports books, this one spends a lot of time with the athletes, letting us see them not just as performers but also as people. What motivates someone to structure his whole life toward a single goal, a goal the athlete knows may never be achieved? And what comes after the Olympics? Mullen answers all these questions in the words and actions of the young athletes he portrays. Although the book concentrates on swimming and swimmers, its exploration of "big" themes--dedication, the pursuit of success, and the possibility of failure--makes it applicable to all athletes (indeed, to all young people) grappling with how to direct their lives. A superb sports book. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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On page xiii of the Introduction, the author tells us that the 2000 Summer Olympic Gammes "were the most successful in history", that "15 U.S. national records were set", and that "the Olympic Games serve as this book's final exclamation point." (He does also say that "this book is not about that story", but then adds "at least not at first", implying to me that it IS about that story at the end.) As I was reading the book, I kept thinking back to those words, and mostly with annoyance. I kept asking myself: Why did the author tell us right at the outset how the story was going to end? Why couldn't he have kept us in suspense? Now we already know that the Santa Clara swimmers he profiles are all going to win gold medals. I figured that if the Games were so successful for the U.S. athletes and the author is focusing on these particular swimmers, then it is a foregone conclusion how the story ends.
Thus, when I got to the end of the book and realized that the Olympic Trials and Games were more of a nightmare than a dream for most of the dramatis personae of this book, it actually improved my opinion of the book alot, not only because I felt that the author had cleverly thrown me for a loop back in the Introduction (even if that was not his intention), but also because it really reinforces the notion that life does not always end happily after after and the merely being the hardest worker and the most dedicated person and maybe the most worthy person (think especially Wilkens and Grote) does not always make for the Disney ending. In fact I wonder, if the author had his druthers, and could have created any ending he wanted for the 5 or 6 main swimmers profiled, whether he would have chosen for them to swim to gold medals in world-record times at the Olympics or whether he would have chosen the ending as it actually occurred. I feel that, perhaps from a standpoint of the personal affection he obviously had for swimmers such as Wilkens and Grote and Wales, he obviously would choose the gold medal option. However, from a standpoint of pure literary merit, I also feel that the ending as it actually occurred made for a better book.
Good book, worth reading.
I didn't really get a chance to play sports in high school because I went to so many different schools so when I finally got to junior college I decided to pick up swimming at the ancient age of 18. Knowing little about the sport, I fumbled around trying to pick up on everything as fast as I could. I'm so glad that I picked up this book because now I know so much about the swimming world and I can be confident around the team and coaches and know what to expect during workouts and practice. It's true that I'll never be an Olympian or even a really great swimmer but I'll still get to experience a little of the thrill of competition and a lifetime of good fitness. I think this book taught me about the life of a professional athlete and now I don't have to feel like I missed out because I can still enjoy the fun of the sport without the heartbreak and back-breaking hard work.
I could go on for longer but I don't feel like writing a three page review and I'm not really a good writer so I'll just say that I recommend this book to everyone but especially athletes and ESPECIALLY swimmers!