Gold in the Water: The True Story of Ordinary Men and Their Extraordinary Dream of Olympic Glory

Overview

In California, a team of talented young men begin pursuing the most elusive dream in sports, the Olympic Games. The pressure steadily increases as two best friends (a mentor and his protégé) reach the top of the world rankings and unexpectedly find themselves direct competitors. Their teammates include an emerging star methodically plotting to retrace his father's path to Olympic glory, as well as a super-extraordinary athlete desperate to walk away from it all. Led by one of the most passionate coaches in ...

See more details below
Paperback (First Edition)
$16.08
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$17.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $7.41   
  • Used (14) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

In California, a team of talented young men begin pursuing the most elusive dream in sports, the Olympic Games. The pressure steadily increases as two best friends (a mentor and his protégé) reach the top of the world rankings and unexpectedly find themselves direct competitors. Their teammates include an emerging star methodically plotting to retrace his father's path to Olympic glory, as well as a super-extraordinary athlete desperate to walk away from it all. Led by one of the most passionate coaches in sports, a brilliant and explosive strategist on a personal quest for redemption, this team of dark horses and Olympic favorites works through escalating rivalries, joyous triumphs, and heartbreaking setbacks.

Author P. H. Mullen chronicles their journey to the 2000 Olympic Games and presents one of the most powerful and moving sports books ever written. Boldly sweeping in literary power and pace, this startling book will permanently change how you view the Olympic athlete.

It is a fascinating world of suspense and emotion where human desire for excellence rules over all, and where there are no second chances for glory. But above all, Gold in the Water is a triumph of the human spirit.

 

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Olympic fans undoubtedly remember the wonderful performances of the U.S. swimmers at the 2000 Olympics in Australia. What viewers may not fully understand is the grueling training endured by a larger group of swimmers who trained for other meets leading up to the trials and Olympic competition. Mullen, a sports writer and competitive swimmer, focuses on the Santa Clara Swim Club, two athletes Tom Wilkens and Kurt Grote and their coach, Dick Jochums. The author provides an intimate look at the physical training along with the emotional and psychological roller-coaster ride for the swimmers as they try to make the Olympic team. As coach, Jochums also endures serious hardships, including bankruptcy of the swim club and accusations of financial misconduct. Mullen skillfully details exactly what the swimmers are feeling (e.g., "Now Wilkins was furious.... He was in the best shape of his life, he'd just swum in the world's fastest pool, and his time was more than 1.5 second slower than his best. He needed to find an outlet for his fury...." Sports fans and anyone who has trained for competition will find this book enjoyable. (Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
The roar from the stands; the feel of the scratchy blocks under bare feet; the gently rippled stretch of blue bordered by colored plastic lanes; the slightly foggy view from beneath the goggles—all come alive within the pages of this amazing account of how a handful of men and women mounted a journey to the Olympics. Few will be able to forget the amazing achievements made by the United States Swim Team at the 2002 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, but seldom do readers get a glimpse behind the scenes at the hours of time spent swimming endless laps and the mental journey required to make it to stand on the blocks of the Olympic arena. Mullen, an accomplished sports reporter and competitive swimmer, focuses on the Santa Clara Swim Club, several of their athletes, and the imposing force on the deck, Coach Dick Jochums. Exploring the personal lives of the athletes while taking time to explain the dynamics of athletic conditioning, swimming physics, and the politics of sport, this story of physical triumph and disappointment will interest anyone who has participated in competitive sports. Although focused on swimming, this artfully written book tackles larger themes such as dedication and motivation, making it accessible for anyone looking for an inspirational story. Photos. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P S A/YA (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2001, St. Martin's Press, 326p,
— Heather Hepler
Kirkus Reviews
Tension builds along with skills as two American swimmers prepare for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Journalist Mullen (Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, etc.) begins at the 1998 World Championships, where Kurt Grote and Tom Wilkens finish first and seventh, respectively, in the 200-meter breaststroke. Soon after, the two former walk-ons at Stanford begin their Olympic training schedules. Friends and rivals, they lead different lifestyles. Grote, a naturally gifted swimmer, balances his athletics against the requirements of med school and a new marriage. His protege, Wilkens, more workhorse than prodigy, has no life outside the pool and is uncertain which events are his best. Both young men entrust their careers to Dick Jochums, the new head man at the Santa Clara Swim Club: a Bobby Knight-like coach fired from his job at the University of Arizona-abusive, self-righteous, burning with a redemptive fury to reestablish himself as an elite coach and restore Santa Clara to the national prominence it last held in the 1970s. Mullen uses other SCSC members to dramatize the world of the top-level swimmer. Dod Wales, son of an Olympian, evaluates all coaching suggestions with Spock-like rationality. Tate Blahnik's immense talent is tempered by his bitterness about past coaching exploitation. Dara Torres's feminine presence cheerfully alters the atmosphere of the macho club. Assistant Coach John Bitter is brilliant on the pool deck, but dangerously careless with the club's cash. Olympic stars Lenny Krayzelburg, Jenny Thompson, and Tom Dolan make cameo appearances. A journalist and former collegiate and professional swimmer, Mullen confidently covers the design of a "fast" pool,swimming physics, collegiate and Olympic politics, and race strategy as his deftly constructed story moves through the exciting 1999 Pan-Pacific meet at midpoint to the climactic Olympics. Merits a spot on the top step of the podium. (8 pp. b&w photos, not seen)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312311162
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/5/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 193,023
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

P.H. Mullen has written for numerous publications, including Sports Illustrated, Travel & Leisure, USA Today, and The Washington Post. He also holds one of history's fastest times for swimming the English Channel. Mr. Mullen graduated from Dartmouth College and lives in northern California with his wife and daughter.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 27, 2011

    Gold in the Water Review

    The book Gold in the Water is a riveting and exciting book by P.H. Mullen. It is a true story about the lives of six people in the Santa Clara Swim Club, five swimmers and one coach, who dream of going to the Olympics. It accurately depicts the difficult and gritty journey that the Santa Clara Swim Club went on to the 2000 World Olympic Games. Some of the expertly used literary elements included in the book are imagery, characterization, setting, and style. The crux of the book was when the Author was talking about the childhood of Olympic swimmers and how their lives are almost one in the same. A cycle of swim, eat, sleep was just something natural and not having time with friends was a sacrifice made by them because of their binding commitment to their sport. Some of my personal likes and dislikes are that it is a little bit to descriptive at times and can drag on a bit. But the rest of the book was exciting and intense and it binds the reader to his or her chair. Overall, Gold in the Water was a fantastic book that I would recommend for anyone who loves to dream big!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2005

    GREAT BOOK FOR SWIMMERS!!

    This book was a great book that explained the journey of World Class Swimmers. The tough roads they had to travel and the ups and downs of being a swimmer.GREAT BOOK!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2002

    the ultimate book on competitive swimming

    Fascinating and suspenseful with a lot of human interest. You really identify with these people -- the comeback of Dara Torres, swimming world class times in her 30s, the calm intelligence and determination of Dod Wales, the sensible goal setting and self-acceptance of Mariniuk, the maturity of Kurt Grote, the all-out guts of Wilkens, the delusionment of Tate Blahnik, and on and on. I myself was inspired by Edwin Moses and Erik Vendt, both 5-9 or so who won Olympic medals. I like to see that. This book really tells the reader what competitive swimming is all about, although as a former swimmer myself there were a few spots where I sensed some exaggeration. At the end, the reader is both happy and thoughtful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    Gold in the Book

    This was the best book I have ever read! Gold in the water taught me a lot about the road to success in swimming, and as a swimmer myself this really was a book that I couldn¿t put down. The life story of the swimmers in this book was amazing, and any sports lover would appreciate their lives and love this book. But especially swimmers who enjoy reading about our sport would love this book. Gold in the Water is really hard to explain in words, it was that good! It makes you really feel inspired to go out and give your best. P.H. Mullen does such a great job of explaining the races and the lives of the swimmers that you actually feel like you¿re seeing the race in front of you. I was actually on the edge of my chair for most of the book, especially during the races that he described. The pictures of the different swimmers and pools were also very interesting to see, because those pools are some of the coolest I¿d ever seen. The struggles and the disappointments of the swimmers as they try to make the US Olympics Team are also amazing and the author tells them well. Any athlete knows the feelings of disappointment over a loss. The author accurately shares those feelings along with the excitement of winning. He makes you, as a reader, part of these athlete journeys; you go on the roller coaster with them. He explains the sport of swimming perfectly, any athlete can appreciate that. Gold in the Water is a five star book, more like a five gold medal book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2001

    A Gold Medal Book!

    This was the first book about athletics that gave me a true insight into the 'psyche' of an Olympic athlete. This book was inspirational and you could tell it was written by someone who had a great knowledge from 'inside' the swimming pool! It read like a novel and I could not put it down. Of course, I had to put it down so I wouldn't miss swim practice as the book also motivated me to try harder to be my best. This book is for everyone - swimmers, non-swimmers, athletes, and yes, even couch potatos!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2001

    Read this book!

    This book is a must-read, especially for all swimmers and athletes. Swimming has been one of my greatest passions for as long as I can remember, and I never imagined that the sport could be described in such detail and accuracy. The book is so true to the intricacies of the sport, including the emotional and physical dedication, perseverance, highs and lows that make it so challenging and rewarding. Any kind of athlete can relate to it. I was able to relive so many deep feelings and great memories through the book, and I feel very strongly about it. I truly believe that anyone who reads this, whether you are an athlete or not, will love it and have a great appreciation for it as I do. It is an inspiring and moving story about dreams, the struggle to achieve, and the resulting disappointments and triumphs. I felt like I was experiencing the emotions with the athletes in the book all along the way. The story is so much like a movie that at times, it is easy to forget that these people are real and all of the events told really happened. I hope that everyone has the chance to read this and enjoy it as I did.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2001

    Just awesome!

    This is by far the most enticing sport book I've ever read. It just captures your attention and never lets go.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2001

    The true meaning of the Olympics

    This book about one swim team chasing the Olympic dream is completely fascinating from the first page. It doesn't matter what the sport is. If you are trying to be the best in the world, the journey and the larger themes about life, success and confronting failure are always the same. Gold in the Water puts you right inside the athletes heads. You see them as real people (all the good and all the bad) and you root like heck for them to win. It reminds me of Friday Night Lights in that you find yourself caring deeply about athletes you've never heard of. But it has a far more uplifting message. This may be one of the best sports books I've ever read

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2001

    Inside the Olympic dream

    I feel like I have been to the Olympics. This book is a small miracle--a snapshot so intimate and truthful about the elite athlete and the drama of every day & every minute counting. A friend (former swimmer) gave me an early copy of the book and said I would learn to love swimming by the time I was finished. She was right. I cried several times and once almost jumped out of my seat to shout encouragement. When I came to the last page, I didn't what it to end. That's how affecting and personal this story is. But more to the point, the book reminded me why I loved sports in general. These athletes whether they win or lose are heroes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2001

    Great Book!!

    Great Book!! Easily best I've ever read on swimming. This is Charoits of Fire in the pool!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)