First Brazilian player in the NBA - RDJ Institute Founder
12 years in the Brazilian National Basketball Team
more than 200 games in International, Pan-American and Olympic Games
"While I read "Riding," I was immersed in the narrative, for there has never been a book, other than biographies of athletes, that made me feel so close and so knowledgeable about something, much less something with modern and accessible language. In truth, I felt this way because besides talking about self-improvement, the search for results, commitment, focus and other virtues that are part of the life of an athlete, I participated in two of the Olympic Games cited in the novel: the writing made me go back in time. The story happens between the South Korean Olympics (1988) and the London Olympics (2012). The Olympics are the conducting string, the dorsal spine that temporizes and gives us a notion of the time narrated.
The reader is faced with the story of a couple that works for the International Olympic Committee, traveling the world organizing the Olympic events, and that at a certain point have a son, who comes to be known as André. In this moment, the life of the wife Elizabeth is completely transformed. Her husband, Mario, keeps on working for the COI, and seeks to provide his son an education that will turn him into an international citizen with conscience and the ability to think for himself. Despite the distance, the family unit and the importance of bonds between the family nucleus' members are quite emphasized throughout the plot.
Despite basing itself on the journey of an athlete that seeks his objectives, "Riding" is not merely a story about cycling. It goes much further.
The lessons taught are a full plate to the people who search for inspiration in their lives.
As an ex-athlete of old, I was touched to notice that, despite my difficulties and fights in the world of sports, the para-athlete, as André, suffers from the fight a lot to reach his objectives. The culture does not value the Paralympics as much as the regular Olympics, but there you find athletes that are full of drive and willpower."
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wonderful short story about loving to ride a bicycle and about being handicapped. Mario continues working for the Olympics committee after Elizabeth gives birth to a "special" child. Andre grows up learning how to ride a bicycle and decides to compete for the Olympics. A truly inspiring story!
The best book to read to any aspiring Olympians I loved reading this book Riding by Cassia Cassitas. It is a very inspirational book to read. You will learn history, geography and health issues aside from sports. I do not play any sports but my son does. He is also like Andre in some way with disability. Andre inspires me a lot. He has a loving and supportive parents. My hats off to his parents for giving Andre to shine despite having a disability. This book is so fun and educational to read. It will give your information on the beautiful places where past Olympics were held. I wish I can visit one of the beautiful countries mention from this book. What I loved about this book is? The lesson to learn to any disability inspiring athletes to achieve their goals in life. The passion they have and the support of parents and friends will make them shine and reach their dreams.
There were a few things that attracted me to this book. The first is its cover. It's original and creative, with two walls of graffiti and the handlebars of a bike at its center ready to ride through it. It's just perfect for this book. The first thing my 11 year-old son said when he looked at it was, "How many people can you find in the picture, Mom." He had already explored and dissected that cover and made me take a closer look. The back cover too has more of these images. The second thing that attracted me to this book is its theme, that of a boy who strives to become an Olympic para-athlete. I've worked in the field of special needs with children who wore prostheses to school and had to overcome the challenges of adapting. So I was eager to see this explored in the story. This book is unlike any I've read. The writing style was somewhat philosophical, which took some getting used to and it was also translated from Portuguese, with some of the expressions at times not properly translated. The story is told in vignettes through the point of view of three characters: Mario, an executive who organizes Olympic competitions around the world; Elizabeth, his wife who gave up her career to be a stay-at-home mom, and Andre, their son who was born without feet. It's not clear what Andre's condition is exactly until half-way through the book, when he begins to train as a cyclist. It was at this point that the book began to get me emotionally invested because we get a better picture of how this boy affected not only the lives of his parents, but his own vision of determination and accomplishment. It's clear that Cassitas has a vast knowledge of Olympic history because facts were peppered throughout the book, many of which I remembered from having watched the Games throughout my life. The story spans a period of 30 years told from the cities in which the Olympic Games took place in this time period. We learn of the monumental task of the preparation involved, both pros and cons, in organizing this event. I enjoyed the setting of Curitiba, as I have always wanted to visit Brazil. Elizabeth was a character I could relate to. She was a devoted mom who loved her son and never complained of the long absences of a husband who travelled the world. She worked hard to give Andre a secure and happy childhood, and Andre grew up thinking he could do anything because his parents thought he could. This is what I believe forged his confidence. There were two quotes from this book that made me reflect. The first was from Albert Einstein who said, "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." How true! The second quote is from the Italian para-cyclist Alessandro Zanardi who said, "You shouldn't chase utopia; but if you keep your eyes on the horizon, you'll find happiness right around the corner." Although it took me awhile to get into this book, I found it contained gems of reflections on life and succeeding. I loved bicycling in my teen years and riding against the wind helped me cope with all the angst of adolescence, so I could relate to Andre and his love for cycling. This is a unique book, different, contemplative and full of the love of sports, as a means to challenge yourself. Cassitas has succeeded in bringing the world of para-athletes to my attention and I will be watching as the Games take place in Rio in 2016.
Cassia Cassitas in her new book, “Riding book coverRiding” published by CreateSpace introduces us to Andre. From the back cover: Amidst real events and landscapes, men and women like us wander the cities we inhabit, rehearsing happier lives in the pages of this motivational narrative. From each one, destiny took a part to make them perfect. When he is born, Andre propels his mother’s life in a new direction. His father, an executive who organizes Olympic competitions around the world and doesn’t know when to come back home, strives to make him a worldly citizen. Cycling, his life acquires purpose: becoming an Olympic para-athlete. Together with his friends, he experiences disappointments and new beginnings. A doctor that builds robots, the daughter of a lonely teenager, and a retired athlete teach André how to overcome his limits and live his dream. Set in Curitiba with breaks in Los Angeles, Seoul, Johannesburg and Soweto, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London, the narrative ends in 2012, in Rio de Janeiro. As a tribute to all those who choose to sign the next episodes of their lives, this book is about overcoming one’s self amid achievements, obstacles, love and heroism, written behind the scenes of life. I hardly ever comment on the cover however this cover deserves to be commented upon. There is the picture of the handlebars of the bicycle in the bottom middle of the cover. There is a pathway to ride and to the left and the right is the world. I think this cover sets up the book’s story nicely. Obviously it is a story about cycling. That in itself makes it unique. Then we add in The Olympics and we have boosted this story into the sky. Then the focus is on Andre and his family life. There are so many layers to this wonderful story and I have not even told you all of them yet. I won’t because I do not want to spoil this reading experience. Once you get started you will not want to put this book down until you actually finish. I believe you are going to be caught up in this one. If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to www.kingdomhighlights.org where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours non-stop, commercial free Christian music please visit our internet radio station www.kingdomairwaves.org Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from IRead Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I have to admit this book surprised me. When I originally chose to read and review this book, it was because my husband and I are avid cyclists and I thought it was a fiction story about cycling. The book's side foray into the Olympics was an added bonus. While cycling is part of the plot - as are the Olympics - the focus of the book really is more about people, their journeys and the triumph of the human spirit. Riding has a slower pace that allows the author to explore each character's thoughts and life experiences. The human condition and the main character's individual journeys are offered up for discussion a regular moments throughout, set in many different scenarios. Relationships come under the microscope from business, to community, to friends, to family. Philosophy gently finds its way onto the pages. Along the way we learn about the vast amount of planning and work done many years before any Olympic city officially open their doors to the international community. Given the slower pace of the storyline and thoughtful nature of some of the passages that would cause me pause me to stop for a bit and ponder, I found myself intrigued by why I couldn't put the book down - chapter followed chapter. I think there are two reasons. As I love interviewing and writing the journeys of people I interview, I enjoyed following the stories of the main characters. The writer created real individuals that I ended up feeling I knew intimately. The second is a little simpler. I love knowledge. Cassitas brought to the table an interesting look behind the scenes at the preparation involved in several Olympic cities. I had no idea. This is one I will be reading again in the future - the sign of a great book!
Cycling, A Good Ride Riding is a compilation of stories about a family that cover 1983 through 2012. When he is born, André propels his mother’s life in a new direction, shifting her focus away from her professional aspirations. His father, an executive who organizes Olympic competitions around the world and doesn’t know when to come back home, strives to make him a worldly citizen. Cycling, his life acquires purpose: becoming an Olympic para-athlete. Together with his friends, he experiences disappointments and new beginnings. A doctor that builds robots, the daughter of a lonely teenager, and a retired athlete teach André how to overcome his limits and live his dream. The story is insightful showing how much work that numerous teams of people that work to make the Olympics a memorable affair. With the detail that she used to describe the event, I had started to believe Andre's story was a documentary not a fictional work. It was very realistic showing the personal sacrifices that are made by people who are organizing the games. It was well written although the style was not what I usually read. I think that there were certain sections that more detail could have been used to make the characters more relatable and as well as add understanding to the scenery of locations. I have never been to Brazil so the listing of neighborhoods would have been more memorable with a little extra detail. Overall good read for anyone who loves stories where hard work, sacrifice and people overcome obstacles to become successful.