The Summer Olympics return this month with competitions in gymnastics, cycling, various water sports, and more. While this year’s Olympic hopefuls get ready to go for the gold, get into the spirit of the games by checking out these inspiring stories of Olympic athletes:
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown – Traces the story of an American rowing team from the University of Washington that defeated elite rivals at Hitler’s 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of such contributors as their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder and a homeless teen rower.
Age is Just a Number by Dara Torres – The Olympic medalist offers a memoir that recounts her comeback at the age of forty-one, from her decision to return to competitive swimming, to training while nursing her infant daughter, to her three silver medals at the Beijing Olympics.
The Soul of a Butterfly by Muhammad Ali – The legendary boxer discusses the spiritual values that have shaped him, reflecting on the deepest meanings of life, the principles of Islam, moral courage, belief in God, and the responsibilities of fame and family.
Raising the Bar by Gabrielle Douglas – The gold medal-winning gymnast shares photographs, quotes, and information about her day-to-day life and offers advice on how to stay healthy, look good, and keep strong under pressure.
A Skating Life by Dorothy Hamill – A memoir by the Olympic gold medalist shares the secrets of her private life, from her difficulties with her alcoholic father and her emotionally distant mother to her ex-husband’s fatal plane crash and her own struggles with depression and bankruptcy.
Running for My Life by Lopez Lomong – Offers the true story of a Sudanese boy who, through unyielding faith, overcame a war-torn nation to become an American citizen and an Olympic contender.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias: Driven to Win by Nancy Wakeman – A biography of the multi-talented female athlete, discussing the different sports in which she competed and her part in creating the first women’s professional golf circuit.
But Now I See by Steven Holcomb – The highly successful Olympic bobsled driver tells the story of how he was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease at the height of his competitive career and how, with the help of a revolutionary treatment, he went on to even greater success.