From the moment Simon Whitfield burst onto the world stage at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games as triathlon's first Olympic champion, his winning personality and stellar athletic abilities have inspired young people around the globe. In Simon Says Gold, Simon describes his personal journey to Olympic glory as he recounts not only that glorious day in Sydney, but also the anguish of failing to repeat as Olympic champion in Athens in 2004, and his dramatic comeback at the 2008 Beijing Games, when his exhilarating race to a silver medal enthralled millions of fans around the world. Simon's stories of the highs and lows of his running career will captivate readers young and old, but his real messagethat the simple pursuit of excellence is its own rewardwill also inspire and motivate. Not everyone can be an Olympian. Simon Whitfield believes that true greatness is in performing to the best of one's ability. The reward is in the effort, not the outcome.
Many basketball experts consider Michael Jordan the greatest player in the history of the game. During his 15 seasons in the NBA, Michael was voted the leagues Most Valuable Player six times. He was the leagues leading scorer a record 10 times. And, most important, he led his team, the Chicago Bulls, to six NBA championship titles. But Michael Jordan is much more than a basketball legend. Through his winning personality, his sense of style, and his many product endorsementsalong with his on-court heroicsMichael became one of the most recognized personalities in the entire world. He helped define what it meant to be cool for a generation of kids. Today Michael remains involved in the NBA as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. By supporting a variety of charities, he continues to be a role model as well.
Sheryl Swoopes established herself as one of the best basketball players in the world while she was still in college at Texas Tech. In 1997 she was the first player signed to a new all-womens professional basketball league, the WNBA. During her career in the WNBA, Sheryl led her team to four championships, was voted Most Valuable Player three times, and was a perennial player in the annual All-Star game. She also earned three Olympic gold medals while playing for the U.S. national team. Sheryl is one of the most decorated basketball players in history, but she is also a role model for young people everywhere. This book details Sheryls many successes, both on and off the court, and discusses how she became one of the best and most influential basketball players.
Tim Duncan might just be the greatest power forward in NBA history, and strangely enough, he almost never learned how to play the game. Duncans first love was swimming, but when a devastating hurricane left his training area in polluted ruins, he turned to basketball. Hard work and a great talent for the game would take him on a journey from his hometown of Christiansted in the Virgin Islands to Wake Forest and ultimately to the San Antonio Spurs. Duncan has led the Spurs to four championships, winning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award on three occasions. He has been chosen for the NBAs All-Star team 13 times, and was named the league MVP in 2002 and 2003. Despite his quiet demeanor, Tim has become a dominant force on the hardwood. He has also found success away from the game in family life with his wife Amy and their two children, as well as in his work with the Tim Duncan Foundation.
Venus and Serena Williams grew up in Compton, California, where they sometimes heard gunfire as they learned how to play tennis at a local playground. As teenagers, they grew into athletic women whose powerful serves often overwhelmed their opponents. In time, each sister would climb to the top rankings of international womens tennis. They have also maintained interests off the court: Venus has become a successful interior designer, while Serena has taken several acting roles and also designs womens fashions. But there have been dark days for the two sisters, as well. Both have had to deal with racism, and to endure nagging injuries that have sidelined them for months. They also experienced the tragedy of a sister murdered on the streets of Compton. Venus and Serena have stayed competitive, however, and each is committed to remaining among the best players on the womens tennis tour for many more years.
The world knows 50 Cent as a hip-hop artist and movie star. He has won dozens of awards and made millions of dollars. He works to end hunger around the world. But 50 Cent, also known as Fiddy, grew up living a very different life in South Jamaica, Queens. It was the height of the 1980's crack epidemic. And Fiddy was dealing crack by age twelve...
From gospel choirboy to Star Search winner, Usher, whose full name is Usher Terry Raymond IV, is not just a multi-platinum recording artist. He's a singer, a dancer, and an actor. He is a composer. He has written songs for many famous artists. Usher is a proud father. He is also a mentor, a person who helps or teaches people. He works hard as an activist. He does good things for others.