I've never rowed in my life so was not sure how I'd feel reading a book by a rower but I had seen Katherine Grainger on TV and found her engaging, interesting and with a great sense of humour. The book was really excellent to read. Beautifully written so that reading it is easy and pleasurable. Lots of bits were quite un-putdownable. The relationships within the story, especially with coaches, are fascinating and enlightening. The tensions and frictions and worries over career-threatening injuries as well as all the amazing high points are equally well dealt with openness and honesty. The excitement surrounding London 2012 is very well conveyed. Some parts genuinely made me laugh out loud and others made me almost weep. Definitely to be recommended. It's extremely impressive that the author wrote it all by herself and did not use a ghost writer at all, as most sports folk do. Young people thinking about sport would find it inspiring. As I'm sure would older people too of course!
I purchased this book through Amazon but also had the opportunity to meet the great lady herself at a book signing in Leadenhall Market, London in August. The queue was long as you would expect for this great champion. She took the time and trouble to chat to everyone and it was an absolute joy and privilege to meet her. The book is excellent, insightful and well written. It is telling that she wrote the book herself, taking the time to do this and delaying the publication to complete it unlike some of the Olympians who published a 'ghost written' book of a couple of hundred pages within a 3-4 months of the games finishing, none of which give the real personal insight that you get from this book. This really is the story of her journey and the highs and lows from it and how you learn to treat each of these. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading sporting biographies even if their understanding of rowing is limited to watching it on TV. I hope she continues to Rio as she has the talent and drive to make it to 5 games and to hopefully win gold again - she would deserve to.
Well written by KG, a clever women and superb athlete. As a rower i thoroughly enjoyed her documentation of the years of training, disappointments and competitions culminating in such a hard won gold in London. I think fans of sport will enjoy this.
An extremely well written book which brings the reader onto the water after the struggles in the training arena and battles with the coaches. One has to applaud the degree of commitment required to compete at this level and the will to win. Katherine Grainger demonstrates this in graphic style and is an inspiration to any aspiring athlete, not just rowers. Congratulations on a job well done both on the water and in prose.
I love rowing and have the upmost respect for Kath Grainger. I found this an engaging read but felt she did't give too much away. I was left feeling I knew more about her but didn't end up knowing her any better. Maybe some Scottish reserve stopped her giving more away. I hope she goes on in rowing, but if not an emerging TV/media career seems to be emerging along the lines of Matthew Pinsent. I hope this works out for her as she is intelligent, engaging and knowledgeable about sport.
I thoroughly enjoyed this account of her determination to win an Olympic gold medal. Two silvers were not enough for Katherine. She persevered, putting herself through a gruelling training regime and finally achieved her goal in London. What a fantastic example she is to everyone. If you put your mind to it, you can do anything. A must read.
a great insight into the hard long road to become a champion at your given sport. was very impressed when I realised Katherine had written book herself - well done. the book lets you see the highs and lows through the years & the sacrifices made. well done girl.
I loved this book; it's a witty, honest and sometimes an truthfully harsh over view of the career of one of Britain's greatest Olympians. The fact she has consciously chosen to write this book herself comes through clearly in the text which has a very personal quality to it with subtle insights that no ghost writer could interpret. It's also a eye opener to the harsh realities of what it takes to be an elite Olympic rower. A refreshing dose of honest hard graft, which makes a change in a world dominated by prissy overpaid footballers who don't even know they are born. Respect to her, she is an inspiration.
The book works on every level. From the novices struggling to make ANY boat, to the tyro attempting to make it, to the coach attempting to get his or her charges faster, it provides example and guidance.
She talks deeply about experiences and dynamics well, and I feel a better understanding of many facets of GB rowing than I gained from going out with one of her crewmates!
As an Australian, I'd dearly love our girls to have got gold in the double instead, but I'm glad Katherine and Anna did .
A well written and honest account of her determination for Olympic gold. Truly inspirational! If you are a non rower you may get bogged down with some of the more technical wording but don't let that out you off. Loved how throughout her endless training it was punctuated by light hearted moments and humour. Fantastic woman!