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If Not Now, When?: One man's extraordinary quest for Olympic glory, twenty years after his first gold medal [Hardcover]

Greg Searle
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Aug 2012

Twenty years ago, rower Greg Searle won Gold in the Coxed Pair alongside his brother Jonny, at the Barcelona Olympic Games. At the age of 20, he received an MBE, and by the time he had reached his mid-thirties, his glorious career as an international athlete was over. Or was it?

If Not Now, When? is a book about obsession; about the drive to be the best you can be, whatever your age. In April 2010, and almost two decades older than the rest of the British rowing squad, Greg made the decision to come out of retirement and go for gold again at the London 2012 Olympics. His journey gets to the very heart of what it means to compete; teamwork and loyalty, the struggle to deal with disappointment and the will to win.

In the 2012 final, Greg won bronze as part of the men's eight and sealed his status as Olympic legend.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (30 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230763537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230763531
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 211,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This is a fascinating read, laced with triumph, tragedy and a series of eye-watering accidents that always seem to befall him on his day off...He never shies away from question, nor from his own faults and foibles. Which is what makes this a compelling read." --Daily Telegraph

"honest and inspirational tale of personal and sporting achievement" --Big Issue in the North

"Searle should be congratulated for giving us an admirably honest, intelligent and heart-wrenching account of what it takes to occupy the elite of sport". --Daily Express

About the Author

Greg Searle won a dramatic Olympic gold medal, aged twenty, with his brother Jonny and their cox Garry Herbert in 1992. In recognition of this achievement Greg became one of the youngest ever recipients of an MBE. He and Jonny took the bronze at Atlanta in the coxless four (1996) and Greg retired from international rowing after the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He is currently a director of Lane4, a company established by former Olympic swimming champion Adrian Moorhouse offering lessons learned in sport to the business community.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
My husband and I read this book because we were suffering from Olympic withdrawal symptoms and it was the perfect antidote. Greg Searle's story of his sporting experiences and decision to risk so much and go for another Olympic gold at the age of forty is gripping, searingly honest, moving and life-enhancing. I can't wait for my sons to be old enough to read it, because the way Searle has lived his life, faced his mistakes and shown dedication to his sport, as described in this book, is a great example to boys and young men (not to mention girls and young women too). Stirring stuff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME! 21 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover
'If Not Now, When?' is an insightful, honest and inspiring book and I urge anyone who thinks getting older is a barrier in life to read it.

I'm already planning how I can compete in Rio 2016!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First things first, this isn't a sugar-coated or censored account of Greg's rowing career in the way you might expect with a book timed for release at the Olympics. It's a highly detailed and searingly honest account, packed full of personal anecdotes and sporting analogies. I feel it's a must-read for anyone interested in rowing over the last 20 years and has plenty of raw emotion to interest a wider audience of sports fans. I particularly enjoyed reading about the Hampton School training methods - if only I could have read it 20 years ago and improved my approach to rowing as a junior!

I read this on a Kindle. All formatting is absolutely fine and there are several photos included at the end of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring read 5 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very inspiring, a great read from his early years at Hampton school where he took up rowing to his Olympic success and on through his later years when he took up the mantle again to further success. Accolades to Gary Herbert.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Normally, sportsmen and women publish their achievements very frequently after hitting form and fame.The question is when their story is first known, do they decide to then behave strangely, as for instance Georgie Best Good, the Bad and the Bubbly or Paul Gascoigne, simply because they were really always odd, or in order to keep up their cash flow with explanations on their latest fetes of violence and drunkard stupidity. This was the first book published by an Olympic athlete when the London Games in August 2012 closed, and, as in the case of the cyclist Victoria Pendleton Between the Lines: My Autobiography, it is most informative, exciting, well argued, and beautifully written.

Like Pendleton, Greg Searle who has now retired (possibly again) he traces his peaks and troughs, and hisaccomplishments right up to the London summer Games, and so is current. It can be looked in terms as arevealing sociological study.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, honest and compelling. 26 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Few have the physical and mental attributes that go to make an Olympic champion. Greg Searle has been blessed with both and his sporting palmares shows he made the most of it. But his story - brilliantly crafted and paced here - is more than the typical story of an athlete. Greg opens up to the failures and mental traumas that exceptional athletes face as well the stories of his many successes. His honesty in questioning the impact his early success had on his motivation is admirable and the story itself is one of a person reflecting on how they have matured as a human being as well as an athlete.

With rare eloquence and honesty not often seen in this genre he makes a compelling case for getting off your arse and trying to achieve your goal.

Gold, Bronze, Bronze - not bad going for a F**witt!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This a fascinating book detailing the ups and downs of being an Olympic champion and what it takes to make a comeback. At times this book is painfully honest about mistakes made and how they could have been avoided, an honesty which you do not always find in such books. Highly recommended to anyone who has an interest in elite sport and what it takes to be successful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story.
Great story. Lots of details which take you into the mind of an Olympian and it's so refreshing to hear someone say a little about the mistakes they made as well as what they did... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alastair
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Reads easily a real page turner, a great insight into what it takes and the feeling of being an Olympic athlete
Published 2 months ago by jon
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Purchase
I purchased this book as a birthday present for a family member. The recipient of the gift is delighted with it
Published 10 months ago by S.G. Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars Popular Christmas present
First full-length book that the 20 year-old male recipient had read for some time. A keen rower, it was just right for him.
Published 11 months ago by JCB
5.0 out of 5 stars You are never too old to achieve !
Well done Greg, a great read, i had a 25 year gap between my competitive rowing and although not competing at the same level i can fully appreciate the challenges you faced ! Read more
Published 15 months ago by NAC6562
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Well received Christmas gift by son in law. He very much liked it. Interesting read and well received. Thank you
Published 15 months ago by Sandi
1.0 out of 5 stars Startling rubbish
Thankfully I borrowed this book, as I would have been even more disappointed had I paid for it. Tedious, dull, anodyne, ludicrous self-importance (that Matt Pinsent's radar was... Read more
Published 18 months ago by HenleyRower
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