Item description for Headfirst: The Olympic Success Story of Skeleton by Robie Vaughn & Mike Towle...
This the spirited tale of how a Texas oil and gas executive spearheaded the campaign to reinstate the extreme sport of skeleton into the 2002 Winter Olympics. A story of risks and determination, follow the journey skeleton made on its way back to the Olympics, and be inspired by the dedicated athletes who believed in teamwork.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9" Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Release Date Nov 15, 2006
Publisher Brown Books
ISBN 1933285087 ISBN13 9781933285085
Reviews - What do customers think about Headfirst: The Olympic Success Story of Skeleton?
Interesting glimpse of how a daredevil Winter Olympic sport was born Jan 23, 2006
The sport of skeleton makes for one of the world's greatest unwritten stories.
Upon telling people I'm a skeleton slider they almost invariably respond "skeleton? What's that?," only to be left wide-eyed upon learning that participants dive headfirst onto a sled and plunge at speeds of 70-80 mph down a mountainside ice track for a minute of sheer thrill (or terror).
Such elements make for a captivating story, as recounted in Headfirst, the first-ever book on this daredevil Winter Olympic sport. Author Robie Vaughn (former director of the sport's American federation) recounts the wild adventures of pioneering American athletes (including himself), as well as his leadership role among enthusiasts who successfully lobbied to add skeleton to the 2002 Olympic program, thereby boosting the sport's worldwide popularity. Along the way, Vaughn and his colleagues overcame serious obstacles, particularly jealous bobsled officials who actively subverted their efforts behind the scenes.
Despite Headfirst's merits, readers seeking a simple and up-to-date overview of the sport (i.e. profiles of current star athletes, how to take lessons, etc) may find this book lacking. Resembling an autobiography, the book instead devotes tremendous ink to Vaughn's circle of family and friends, his successes as a Texas oil-and-gas executive, as well as his exploits in activities such as mountain climbing. Coinciding with Vaughn's greatest involvement in the sport, Headfirst is primarily set in the years 1997-2002, leaving readers in the dark about the sport's major developments in subsequent years.
Despite these limitations, Headfirst is a worthwhile reading for those seeking an insider's glimpse of skeleton's arrival on the Olympic stage.
A good read! Jan 4, 2006
Headfirst encapsulates all that is revered about Olympic competition. Great athleticism and determination are the recognized qualities of any athlete in pursuit of Olympic gold.
The ability to compete on this worldwide stage is the dream of many athletes. For skeleton athletes the dream seemed inaccessible, as their sport had not been recognized in Olympic competition since 1948.
Seemingly far removed from snow and extreme sports, Dallas businessman Robie Vaughn saw an opportunity to "add new blood" to the Winter Olympics. Determined to find a way to enter Olympic competition, the author discovered this little-known sport of sliding on a sled not much bigger than a cafeteria tray, navigating a mile-long track at speeds often exceeding 80 mph--headfirst. From his first slide down the run, he was hooked.
Combining his passion for the sport and his keen business acumen, the author navigated through seemingly endless obstacles to achieve his dream. One taste of victory came in getting the sport reinstated in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Like any good success story, Headfirst details the personalities and politics encountered on the way to glory. I felt a sense of pride when the story culminated with members of the USA Skeleton team accepting their medals, the first in over 50 years.
Armchair Interviews says: Although trying to remember all the acronyms and names was somewhat challenging, this intriguing sports story is worthy reading if you like people who accept and overcome challenges.