Seat with a View provides a candid look at the world of elite rowing. Ride along with Steven "Scrappy" Segaloff as he steers the U.S. Eight-Man Crew through four seasons of intense training and racing, including three World Championships and the 1996 Olympic Games. During his tenure with the National Rowing Team, the crew endures a wide variety of emotions, from the excitement of capturing a World Championship to the bitter defeat of losing at the Olympics. Seat with a View takes you behind the scenes of the U.S. National Rowing Teamin the boat, in the team meetings, and in the mind of a young man in pursuit of his dream. At a time when most books by athletes only describe personal triumphs, Seat with a View talks about the other side of competitionwhat it means to sacrifice everything you have only to come up short in the big race. Seat with a View goes beyond winning and losing and presents an honest discussion about the value of competition itself.
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In 1996, Steven 'Scrappy' Segaloff sat as the coxswain of the U.S. men's eight poised to bring America its first Olympic gold medal in the event since 1964. It was a seat that he had occupied since 1993 when he joined the national team. It was a seat with a view. From where he sat, Segaloff could observe his boatmates, his coaches, his countrymen, and his competitors. And observe he did. During his four-year tenure as the top American male coxswain, Segaloff, a graduate of Cornell, kept a notebook of facts, figures, and insight. It was his reference and his guide. Four years later, it became Seat with a View, a look inside the 1996 Olympic men's eight. 'For the most part, the journal notes served as a clear roadmap to describe our experiences,' said Segaloff, who recently graduated from the University of Chicago Law School. 'What turned out to be more time-consuming was adding the writing between journal entries. The challenge there was to weave together different entries into one cohesive story.' In that, Segaloff succeeded. Seat with a View is a thought-provoking, often gut-wrenching read that offers incredible insight into an Olympic crew. Which is not to say this book is a tell-all. 'I did not set out to write a gossip-filled book that would invade the privacy of my teammates and friends,' said Segaloff. 'Rather, I wanted to write a book that would accurately depict what it takes to achieve any rower's or coxswain's dream of making a national team and competing in the Olympic Games.' Adding further intrigue into his tale is that the 1996 men's eight came up well short of their Olympic gold dream, finishing a disappointing fifth. 'The twist in Seat with a View is that our crew put in the incredibly long hours, yet we failed to achieve our objective in Atlanta in 1996,' he said. 'Nevertheless, my argument is that there is a lot to be gained by having the guts to train intensely and then put yourself in the arena of public competition.' The eight might have fallen short at the Games, but its victories along the way provide some of the best reading in Seat with a View. High on that list is the gold medal row at the 1994 World Championships in Indianapolis, the first time an American crew had won an international title on its home waters. Still, it all comes back to Atlanta. 'Essentially, this book is the story of one crew's preparation for one big race, arguable the biggest race in the world, the men's eight Olympic final,' said Segaloff. The hard work, desire, and sacrifice that went into that one moment are the foundation of the book. Its message is something more and is best stated by Segaloff himself: 'Seat with a View illustrates that there are tremendous benefits to be gained by striving to be the best regardless of the outcome.'