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Olympic Gold: A Runner's Life and Times Hardcover – May 1 1984


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (T) (May 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039535403X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395354032
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,594,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There Is No Finish Line Oct. 9 2006
By Best Of All - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Frank Shorter is perhaps the greatest American distance runner ever and he fought hard with a group of athletes to break the monopoly the archaic AAU had on governing track & field. A gold medalist in the 1972 Munich Olympic marathon, Shorter was cheated of a repeat victory in 1976 when it was revealed years later that the East German winner was on a state-regulated steroids regime.

It was a time long before the running boom and Shorter - along with Steve Prefontaine and a handful of others - was a catalyst to bring the sport to the streets and trails of this country. At one point, Shorter's father had to drive "shotgun" while he trained due to being frequently harassed by a group of punks.

Shorter was also one of the first American track athletes to start his own clothing line, and the book traces the hurdles he had in getting the project off the ground. While in a dispute with the manufacturer, the clothing line that was stored in a warehouse was stripped of the company logo and repackaged for sale under another runner's brand name!

His dispute with Bill Rodgers is also candidly dealt with, though both have patched up their differences since the book was published in the early 1980s.

Runners who came of age after Shorter retired from international competition will appreciate the history lesson. Those who laced up the shoes before or during the early stages of the running boom will enjoy a trek down memory lane.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Review of Olympic Marathoner Frank Shorter's LIfe May 26 2002
By Daniel Hurley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Pretty good detail on Frank Shorter's rise from a pretty fair HS distance runner to a versatile athlete that could run national and world class 5Ks, 10Ks and marathons. He and Prefontaine kicked off the running boom. Shorter was part of the great USA running elite and central character in the outstanding Florida Track Club. Also, detail in his fight to establish more control of the American track athlete's rights to compete from the then AAU and the now TAC. Although I enjoyed the book I found it a bit choppy. It reminded me of a telling told in a series of interviews that sometimes overlap in detail. I think a greater collaberation would have been more effective if Kenny Moore (Sports Illustrated writer and 4th place USA finisher to Shorter's gold) wrote it with Shorter.
The Man Who Led The Way... Dec 14 2007
By D. S. Thurlow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Frank Shorter's 1984 "Olympic Gold" is perhaps too understated for its own good. To the average reader, this may seem like a fairly standard athlete autobiography. For those who remember the times, Frank Shorter's dramatic and surprising marathon victory at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games helped ignite mass interest in the United States in long distance running as a competitive event and as a vehicle for personal fitness. Shorter didn't create the running boom of the 1970's, but he surely helped lead the way.

"Olympic Gold" chronicles Shorter's rise from above-average prep school runner to promising collegiate runner to world class athlete. U.S. athletes had been virtual no-shows in long distance running for decades; Shorter was one of a group of young runners who invested the time and milage to become internationally ranked in the 1970's. Shorter himself, along with Steve Prefontaine, was one of a rare breed who were truly competitive at distances from two miles to the marathon.

Shorter went beyond the racing to push the envelope on obsolete restrictions on amateurism in the United States. Thanks in significant degree to his pioneering advocacy, U.S. runners can now be paid for their appearences at races and can earn money through endorsements. Shorter himself helped pay for his training by marketing a line of clothing specifically adapted to running.

Shorter and his contemporaries are all long since retired from competitive running, but his biography makes for an interest time capsule, full of insights on the making of the running boom of the 1970's. This book is highly recommended to those who lived that era, or may be curious about it.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Very Fun Read June 27 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have a copy of this book at home autographed by Frank himself, and I've enjoyed it immensely. Some people might find it a bit dated. It covers Frank's days at Yale U. when he decided to work harder at running to see how good he could get. It follows his post-graduate days, his training, the other famous runners he hung out with (from roughly 1969 to 1972), then there is an extensive write up on his 1972 Olympic gold medal and he discusses each stage of the race. The book I have was written before the 1976 Oympics, where he won the silver medal (beat by Waldemar Cierpinski from the GDR who was alegedly under performance enhancing drugs). Anyway, the book is a very fun read, lest we forget that Frank Shorter "invented" running and with the help of ABC's Roone Arledge, created the massive running boom that started after his victory, sustained throughout the 70's and still continues today. I still think he is the greatest long distance runner the USA has ever turned out. This book, more like a pamphlet than a hardbound tome, is still inspiring and great fun to read. It has lots and lots of pictures, all in black and white.


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