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The Agony of Victory: When Winning Isn't Enough
     

The Agony of Victory: When Winning Isn't Enough

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by Steve Friedman
 

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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

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.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611454925
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
06/01/2012
Pages:
288
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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The Agony of Victory: When Winning Isn't Enough 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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