By Kathryn Bertine
Think George Plimpton. other than with genuine athletic skill. And he’s a lady. And she’s taken on a problem that makes Paper Lion look like a brisk video game of cross Fish.
Meet Kathryn Bertine, elite triathlete, former specialist determine skater, and ravenous artist. simply as her own goals start to fall apart in the summertime of 2006, ESPN stakes her to a dream: Take years to make the 2008 summer time Olympics in Beijing. As reliable As Gold is the heroic, hilarious account of Bertine’s serial labor within the geographical regions of triathlon, smooth pentathlon, crew handball, music biking, street biking, rowing, open water swimming, racewalking, and—fasten your seatbelts—luge.
On her trip, the stumbling blocks variety from jet lag to jellyfish, flat tires to floundering relationships, repeated rejection to highway rash. yet, as time is operating out, Bertine doesn’t sweat the small stuff, basically the large—like scouring the globe for a tiny country to undertake her, and pushing her physique and brain so far as it is going to cross. probably all of the solution to China.
Between harrowing, frequently laugh-out-loud episodes of triumph and humiliation, Bertine takes brief “Water Breaks” to consider the ins-and-outs of fan mail, failure, rehydration, nasal reconstruction, and the way most sensible to punish steroid users.
Kathryn Bertine swims, runs, and rides—and writes—like a champion. In As sturdy as Gold, Bertine proves she has whatever extra important than an Olympic medal. She’s obtained Olympic mettle. by way of the human middle, she takes the gold.
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Extra info for As Good As Gold: 1 Woman, 9 Sports, 10 Countries, and a 2-Year Quest to Make the Summer Olympics
I put on a right-handed glove and borrow a right-handed blade, which attaches to a cable that plugs into the scoring system. When an opposing blade hits me anywhere on my body, it sets off a sensor and awards my opponent a point, and vice versa. In the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, a Soviet pentathlete named Boris Onischencko rigged an épée sword to register “extra” touches. That seems complicated. He could have just fenced me. Pentathletes practice épée fencing, which means they compete round robin and each duel is finished after the first touch.
What you hold now is the outcome of that cell phone call in the fertility clinic’s waiting room. To you, it’s a book. To me, it was a life preserver. From 2006 to 2008, I was given an opportunity to mesh my two life passions—writing and athletics—in a quest to make it to the 2008 Olympic Games. The journey would bring me the things that most quests bring: the expected, the unexpected, the highs, the lows, the triumphs, the shortcomings, the life lessons. A good quest will do much more than take you from point A to B.
In the summers of 1995 and 1996, I spent two weeks here while competing in the collegiate nationals for figure skating. Back then the dining facility was a small, one-room unit much like a public high school cafeteria. Today, it’s a swanky event center, with photographs of Olympic medalists and inspirational quotes from Lance Armstrong and Bonnie Blair painted on the walls. Three giant TVs fill the dining hall with soft background chatter. Tonight is Mexican night, served up athlete-style. Lean grilled chicken quesadillas and a toppings bar with lard-free ingredients occupy one side of the cafeteria, while pasta, a salad bar, and desert stations are on the other.
As Good As Gold: 1 Woman, 9 Sports, 10 Countries, and a 2-Year Quest to Make the Summer Olympics by Kathryn Bertine