The Agony of Victory: When Winning Isn't Enough

( 2 )

Overview

What makes some men drive themselves to succeed in their chosen sport, no matter how daunting the odds? And what are the struggles that victory almost inevitably brings? Meet the swiftest and saddest cyclist of his time, a man whose craving for speed was outstripped by a terrible urge toward self-annihilation. Try to understand the most accomplished high-school runner in American history, whose long-distance records still astound and who, a few years later, abruptly abandoned his wife and three small children. ...

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Overview

What makes some men drive themselves to succeed in their chosen sport, no matter how daunting the odds? And what are the struggles that victory almost inevitably brings? Meet the swiftest and saddest cyclist of his time, a man whose craving for speed was outstripped by a terrible urge toward self-annihilation. Try to understand the most accomplished high-school runner in American history, whose long-distance records still astound and who, a few years later, abruptly abandoned his wife and three small children. Read of the briefly glorious life of the leading scorer in Division I college basketball, one of the inner city’s great success stories . . . while it lasted. 

This superbly written, insightful book follows the paths of thirteen ravaged champions in solitary crafts such as cycling and running, bowling and boxing, hiking and golf. These men work at and master their sports, driven only by a burning need to prove themselves. Movingly detailed here are their painful journeys to grace and their eventual realization that no victory brings lasting happiness. In short, here is the human experience, told in seconds and miles, scorecards and records.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Baby boomers will recognize this book's title as a pointed reshuffle of the intro for ABC's Wide World of Sports: "Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport; the thrill of victory...and the agony of defeat." In Steve Friedman's persuasive inversion, the thrill of victory usually comes at a high price and is often replaced by a painful personal aftermath. The Agony of Victory follows more than a dozen gladiators of sport who excelled, then crumbled. His subjects include champion athletes from sports both major and minor: basketball, golf, boxing, running, cycling, bowling, and hiking.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611454925
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/1/2012
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,450,238
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve
Friedman is the author of four books, including Driving Lessons and The
Agony of Victory, and the co-author of two New York Times best sellers, including Eat & Run. He has written for Esquire, GQ,
Outside, The New York Times, New York, Bicycling and Runner’s World. His stories have been published in The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Travel Writing and many other anthologies. Friedman grew up in St. Louis,
Missouri, attended Stanford University, and lives in New York City. Visit
Stevefriedman.net.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

1 Going Nowhere Fast: Graeme Obree, Cyclist 1

2 Kingpin: Pete Weber, Bowler 27

3 "It's Gonna Suck to Be You": The Men and Women of the Hardrock 100, Ultra-marathoners 45

4 Lost and Found: Gerry Lindgren, Runner 62

5 The Unbearable Lightness of Being Scott Williamson: Scott Williamson, Hiker 83

6 Falling Star: Marshall Rogers, Basketball Player 106

7 Up From the Gutter: Rudy Kasimakis, Bowler 120

8 Tough: Danelle Ballengee, Runner 129

9 The Tragedy: Marco Pantani, Cyclist 153

10 Sixteen Minutes from Home: Willie McCool, Runner 176

11 Lost in America: Steve Vaught, Hiker 194

12 A Moment of Silence: John Moylan, Runner 217

13 G-D in His Corner: Dmitriy Salita, Boxer 233

14 Driving Lessons: Barry Friedman, Golfer 251

Afterword 267

Publication History 272

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    mistakes made in latest story

    When i wrote: nightbird ghost story shorts. I meant to write nightbirds ghosts stoy shorts. And when i wrote i felt unbearable afterwards. I meant to write i felt unbearablepain afterwards. Sorry for da inconveeyence

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2007

    ATHLETES ARE FANATICS, TOO

    Enter the mind of extraordinary athletes ¿ and be very afraid. This is a deeply absorbing book of stories about haunted athletes ¿ some are insane ¿ but they¿ve all been at the top, or fringe, of their sport at one time in their lives. And what fascinating lives. I¿d never been interested in the life a professional bowle ... until now. Or an ¿action¿ bowler. Hiking for displeasure? Boxing for God? The author, Steve Friedman, has pulled together previously published articles and sets before you either a warning ¿ a peep show ¿ or a beautifully written book about what it takes to win ¿ or what winning takes out of you. I believe he¿s accomplished all four .... Todd Sentell, author of the golf satire, Toonamint of Champions

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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