Sports books – what are we paying for?

Having recently reviewed the autobiography of three-time Olympic slalom champion Tony Estanguet, I spent a few days trawling the sports biography section of my local book shop. I was struck by the number of books by people whose literary skills I have good reason to question. So what do we think we’re getting when we buy a sportsperson’s autobiography?

I’ve seen the speculation that people who bought Lance Armstrong’s books may try to sue him on the basis that they were mostly a pack of lies. The BBC is reporting that some US readers are trying to launch a class action lawsuit against the disgraced cyclist. Continue reading


Une Histoire D’Equilibre

French three-time Olympic gold medalist Tony Estanguet has published his autobiography. The book, “A story of balance” (or, more accurately, “Une Histoire D’Equilibre”) is an account of his life in canoeing, how he got to the top and how he survived there.

From the early days watching his father Henri and older brother Patrice winning, respectively, world championship titles and an Olympic bronze medal Estanguet tracks his own progress towards success at two Olympic Games (gold in Sydney and Athens), discusses how he felt about disappointment in Beijing (9th place) and how he bounced back to win gold in London. Continue reading