Top 10 Books to Read to Get You In the Olympic Spirit

Canada has already begun cheering on its Olympic teams competing in the Rio 2016 Olympics. The news is full of athletes’ stories, dreams and the dedication it took for them to get to the Olympics! To get you in the Olympic spirit, we’ve put together a list of inspirational stories that will not only encourage you to cheer on Canada this Olympic season, but will also help you finish that lap and become inspired yourself!

Gold Rush by Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson’s book Gold Rush is a great way to learn everything you were ever wondering about Olympians in one read. A former Olympian himself and now a BBC broadcaster, Johnson looks at both the psychological and the external qualities that make an Olympic winner!

A Mother For All Seasons by Debbie Phelps

Have you ever wondered what the behind-the-scenes life of an Olympic medalist is like? In her memoir A Mother For All Seasons, Debbie Phelps, Michael Phelps’ mother, delivers all the details on her sons amazing athletic achievement. As she could be found by the sidelines of every one of Michael’s meets, Debbie’s memoir tells the story of dedication and perseverance.

Superbodies by Greg Wells

If you’re interested in the biology of an athlete’s incredible strength and endurance, then the next book you pick up should be Superbodies. Author Greg Wells explores the human body and how it learns to progress when one is training to be an Olympic athlete. He looks at how genetics, DNA and muscles all work together when being put under pressure and how Olympic training regimes can work for pretty much anyone!

Hope Solo: My Story by Hope Solo

Hope Solo’s book about her journey to becoming a superstar goalkeeper for the U.S. Women’s soccer team will surely inspire you to follow your dreams! Written for a younger audience, this book is the perfect place to start to reading about Olympians. Hope’s story about being a driven female athlete rising to the top will inspire anyone!

You Can’t Make This Up by Al Michaels

If you’re looking for a different take on the athletic world, take a look at Al Michaels’ memoir, You Can’t Make This Up. Michaels, who has been a sports broadcaster for more than 40 years, has seen it all. From the Super Bowl to the Stanley Cup, this book is full of stories from his time watching from the sidelines and being in front of the camera. All the ups and downs of many major events are captured in this truthful read.

Forward by Abby Wambach

For a girl power book, look no further than Abby Wambach’s Forward. Her memoir is a strong, compelling look at what it took for an incredible athlete to rise to the top. From playing on the boys’ soccer team to becoming the highest goal scorer in the history of soccer, Wambach has taken the soccer world by storm. This memoir looks at all the elements of Abby’s life that helped her to become a star.

Between the Lines by Victoria Pendleton

Being an Olympic athlete isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Between the Lines tells the story of British Cyclist Victoria Pendleton and her rise to the top. Readers will learn that everything may not be as shiny as a gold medal. A truthful look into the world of what happens after the Olympic lights shut down, this emotional read will show an often unfrequented side of Olympic life.

Flight from Berlin by David John 

If you’re not so into memoirs, take a look at this blend of World War II, the Olympics, and one journalist’s attempt to cover it all. Richard Denham, a journalist sent to Berlin to simply cover the 1936 Olympics, becomes involved in World War II, and has to fight to survive the Third Reich. This gripping story combines love, courage and betrayal at one of the darkest times in history.

Losing Isn’t Everything by Curt Menefee

What do you do when you’ve made one major mistake and it becomes all you’re known for? Losing Isn’t Everything takes a look at those athletes who are only remembered for one thing: losing. From the Super Bowl to the Olympics, Curt Menefee, a sportscaster, and Michael Arkush, a writer, show how moments of disappointment in the sports world are equally as important as moments of triumph.

Heroes, Villains and Velodromes: Chris Hoy and Britain’s Track Cycling Revolution by Richard Moore

If you’re looking for a behind the scenes account of everything that happens when you’re training for the Olympics, Chris Hoy’s story is where to start. A 6-time gold medalist in track cycling, Hoy is known as one of the Olympian greats. This story goes all the way back to Hoy’s start as a BMX racer and follows his progression to the Olympics. From start to finish, this book is an inside look at how Britain’s greatest Olympian was made.


Feeling energized yet, Savvy Readers? Share your favourite athletic books in the comments or on Twitter @SavvyReader.


Follow me on Twitter at @RyaMarrelli

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Canadian publishing professionals and bloggers. Looking for savvy readers to talk books with us!

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