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on 19 July 2005
I recently bought and read Pat Butcher's "The Perfect Distance", and was inspired to track down Steve Ovett's autobiography.
After only seeing the public side of things at the time when Steve was racing, it is interesting to be able to look back over the years with the benefit of Steve's explanations for things that were happening to him behind the scenes.
For any athletics fan, this book is well worth tracking down. The only shame is that it was written before he retired - it would have been great to know what he has been up to since not making the team for the Seoul Olympics and his subsequent retirement.
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on 3 January 2012
© Copyright - 2011 - Athletics Illustrated

Genre: Biography

Title: Steve Ovett: An Autobiography

Author: Steve Ovett and John Rodda

ISBN: 0002181193

Pages: 209

Published by: Willow Books, 1984

Book Review

Steve Ovett was one of the most notable English athletes during the mid-1970s through to the mid-1980s. At this time - which was a renaissance of sorts for England, in the sport of middle-distance athletics - he was a world record holder in the 1500m and mile run distances and an Olympic Champion. He was born October 9, 1955 and grew up in Brighton, Sussex.

The era in which he ran is often referred to by who he was competing with at the time, typically the Ovett-Cram (Steve Cram) era superseded the Ovett-Coe (Sebastian Coe) era, when all three competed for world dominance while representing Great Britain. Little did he know how long his presence would prevail.

Presumably having no corporate sponsors to consider, Ovett and John Rodda deliver an autobiography that, by all appearances, reads refreshingly frank and honest.

In comparison to most sport-based authors of autobiographies, Ovett provides accounts of his training, racing and life outside of the sport in scrupulous fashion. For example, Ovett talks about his disdain for the British media and recounts that early on in his career he stopped communicating with the media altogether, when having just won a European Cup semi-final 800m in July of 1975, and had decided to not compete in the final. An ensuing conversation in the press box, "provided a final straw in my relationship with the media."

"I did not feel any responsibility to promote my sport in talking to the press - I did that out there on the track, by winning," Ovett lamented. He also writes, "when I added that I did not want to run because I was going to Athens that weekend to watch my girlfriend compete in the European Junior Championships, all hell broke loose."

Ovett's patriotism...read the rest here: [...]
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on 27 September 2012
this is part historic as atheletics was different then,also a bag of crisps was 7p,how things have changed.i,d love to see ovett fit into today with the slick marketing he would,nt.outlined his grueling training schedule also the crazyness of international sport cheap hotel rooms, coache journeys.the mans a champion also loved the fact that he came across as a bit grumpy,for me the highlight apart from all the record breaking stuff was the sponsored run he did with loads of local people to raise cash for the local track
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on 10 November 2009
Steve Ovett was, for a time, the biggest name in Britain. Reading this autobiography lets you in to the humanity of a truly great natural athlete, and decent human being.
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on 25 March 2013
Very, very happy with this.
Not only the hardback was in pefect conditions I have enjoyed the book very much !

Delievered quickly without any problems !
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on 7 January 2013
Well written describing the career of an exceptional athlete who did not achieve the public ratings of contemporaries. An honest account of personal battles.
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on 17 April 2014
not just his life story but his views on the way athletics should be run and how coaching should be tailored to the individual
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on 21 October 2013
EXCELLENT CONDITION! it doesn't look nearly 30 years old ;) It was a present for my dad and he loves it, thanks.
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on 24 November 2015
Very interesting book about Steve Ovett's running!
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on 29 June 2015
I enjoyed this book took me back to my youth
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