Book Review – Redemption

I recently read Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold by Bryan Clay, which struck me in light of Lance Armstrong and, to a point, the Manti Te’o girlfriend developments.

Redemption by Bryan ClayClay is a gold-medal decathlete, winning in Bejing in 2008 and released this autobiography prior to his 2012 Olympic attempt. While I often have issues trying to read books by athletes, Clay’s book kept my attention and made me into a fan. He explains the decathlon enough to bring me up to speed enough to follow along and additionally helped me care about the outcome of this event.

In listening to the talking heads debate Lance Armstrong’s confession to Oprah last week, a common thread was the reminder that athletes are not role models. Lance has done great things with LIVESTRONG and had to worked hard for those Tour victories (as everyone was using PEDs, so he still had to beat other cheaters along the way). Nevertheless, he cheated. Likewise, there are plenty of athletes who stellar performance on the field was not dependent on illegal drugs, yet personally throw their money away on pointless, fruitless work that helps no one.

As a decathlete, Clay doesn’t have the fame of Lance or virtually anyone in the NFL. Save for the trials and the Olympics, his only chance for television is likely on ESPN8. There aren’t lines of folks waiting for his shoes to go on sale. His story, though, is inspirational as a story of someone who found his passion in athletics, worked hard, and rose to meet his goals.

[Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the book for free in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive or negative review and the opinions stated herein are completely my own. Being given the promotional copy of the book had no influence on this review.]






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