Dreams Do Come True tells the inspirational story of one of Britain's golden girls from London 2012. Great Britain's finest woman rower had one final career target to achieve and, on 3 August 2012, on the water at Eton Dorney, she - and Anna Watkins - beat three other pairs to win the gold in the Women's Double Sculls at the London Olympics. After winning silver in 2000, 2004 and 2008, Katherine Grainger could finally call herself an Olympic champion.
Katherine's story is a remarkable one - proof that nice people can be winners, and that dedication and hard work pay off. As well as her achievements in athletics, Katherine has degrees from Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities and a PhD from London, in subjects as diverse as law, philosophy and murder. She has packed an awful lot into her 37 years, and in this autobiography she tells her life story: the highs and lows, and her ultimate moment of glory in front of thousands of home fans.
©2013 Katherine Grainger (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Her accent is very easy to listen to, in fact I used this audiobook as an aid to get me to sleep with the soothing Scottish accent and the dull content it was perfect.
No, I appreciate that Katherine is a rower and I expected a fair bit of rowing content however there was precious little else. Either she has chosen not to share other aspects of her life or maybe the life of a pro-rower is just rather boring.
"Rowed To Glory"
I hoped this title would be released on Audible and even more if narrated by the authoress herself, Catherine Grainger. So, I was delighted when I spotted this and purchased it right away.
I must explain that I have a vested interest in such biographies being a rower myself. Biographies that relate to any particular sport will always have a pretty small overall appeal to those not involved or interested in such a sport and so it's hard to pitch this book as something for everyone. It isn't, basically you will have to have some knowledge of rowing to get the most from this title but that doesn't preclude others from enjoying the story of one of Britain's most acclaimed athletes and the personal achievements of any sports person to a certain degree transcend the sport itself and thus make for an interesting story of how such people reach the top.
The thing I think most interesting to me in such books is not necessarily the stories of success but rather the revelations of hardships, weakness, self doubt etc which are all the things that make us human and make the reader feel that what we see on television and the success also has a flip side we never see. it's actually reassuring for me personally to find that Catherine exhibits all the downs as well as ups any sport entails. For a time I would think it was only me that had bad days, bad weeks or poor results and all the self doubt that entails and so the reader can empathise with the author regardless of what sport it is as we all understand what it is like to have doubts in life.
Catherine's reading of her biography is excellent and natural in delivery and her own emotions can be hinted at on occasion during the reading of her book as she recounts difficult times.
The only thing missing from the book from my perspective is a more detailed account of just how exhausting a race can be. We can all surmise that such physical activity is not easy but when someone views a top exponent of any particular sport they have no experience of it invariably looks a lot easier than it is. It would have been nice for the reader to glimpse the rigours of a race to better understand the truly huge effort of both physical and mental strength required. I'm sure she can remember many races in vivid and brutal detail and so an explanation to the reader what such efforts mean and how you actually feel or cope with the stress of racing would have lent the book a more universal appeal as well as striking a cord with all rowers everywhere that have laboured behind an oar and wished they were anywhere else except where they were!
Insightful and informative about the people and politics of sport as well as laced with humorous stories and accounts of the varied personalities Catherine encounters this story is interesting and a worthwhile read and illustrates just how much work and commitment is required to reach the top in sport. Catherine is kind, thoughtful, funny and honest in her book and is a prime example of a world class athlete that is an inspiration for all those seeking to be the top in their chosen field.
"once upon a time..."
Katherine read it simply and with a bubbling sense of humour.
well, Katherine, of course...it is her Autobiography after all!
it had honesty and dedication of mind.
Once upon a time..
This is a book for anyone who has dreamed of triumph through determined ambition, who does not take themselves too seriously and understands the inner workings of other minds that makes for the great team spirit. It is also for those of us who have the willingness for such people to succeed. Miss this book and you will miss a little piece of yourself.
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