As Good As Gold: 1 Woman, 9 Sports, 10 Countries, and a 2-Year Quest to Make the Summer Olympics

By Kathryn Bertine

Think George Plimpton. other than with genuine athletic skill. And he’s a girl. And she’s taken on a problem that makes Paper Lion look like a brisk video game of pass Fish.
 
Meet Kathryn Bertine, elite triathlete, former specialist determine skater, and ravenous artist. simply as her own goals start to collapse in the summertime of 2006, ESPN stakes her to a dream:  Take years to make the 2008 summer season Olympics in Beijing. As sturdy As Gold is the heroic, hilarious account of Bertine’s serial hard work within the geographical regions of triathlon, smooth pentathlon, staff handball, music biking, highway biking, rowing, open water swimming, racewalking, and—fasten your seatbelts—luge.
 
On her trip, the stumbling blocks diversity from jet lag to jellyfish, flat tires to floundering relationships, repeated rejection to street rash. yet, as time is operating out, Bertine doesn’t sweat the small stuff, basically the large—like scouring the globe for a tiny state to undertake her, and pushing her physique and brain so far as it is going to cross. probably the entire technique to China.
 
Between harrowing, usually laugh-out-loud episodes of triumph and humiliation, Bertine takes brief “Water Breaks” to think about the ins-and-outs of fan mail, failure, rehydration, nasal reconstruction, and the way most sensible to punish steroid users. 
 
Kathryn Bertine swims, runs, and rides—and writes—like a champion. In As solid as Gold, Bertine proves she has whatever extra beneficial than an Olympic medal. She’s obtained Olympic mettle. by way of the human center, she takes the gold.

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I can’t undergo the idea of being granted citizenship yet simply lacking the closing date to race the world over. December 20 is long past. December 25 brings vacation closings to govt workplaces. the 1st week of January passes with no name or electronic mail from Winston, except a sympathetic salutation for a contented New 12 months and a short acknowledgement of my main issue: “I nonetheless have desire. ” ok, then. when you do, I do, blood brother. however the days come and cross. January 10: No notice. January 12: not anything January 14: Nada January 15: Nooo Caribbean love January sixteen: Zip January 17: Zilch January 18: nonetheless no note. What’s happening? January 19: Six weeks considering that our assembly with the most suitable January 20: One month previous the UCI cut-off date for group registration January 21: 5 months on the grounds that i started my quest for citizenship January 22: 5 months and in the future January 23: Let’s take this 3 at a time, lets? January 26: bet that doesn’t make a distinction January 29: what percentage days are in January back? February 1: Shoot me now February three: UCI races commence in lower than a month February 6-10: devour, sleep, educate, fee email, cry, repeat February eleven: I’ll be thirty-three in 3 months—old adequate to be the mother of an Olympic gymnast February 12-28: See February 6-10 February 29: nice! bissextile year. another day of pain. March 1: That’s adequate. I can’t take this anymore. I email Winston, as I’ve performed on a daily basis for the prior 3 months, thanking him for all he’s performed for me. Winston continuously writes again in the day, yet this time I listen not anything from him. for 3 days. i suppose neither folks can carry ourselves to claim see you later, to stand the evidence, to simply accept that we did our greatest yet that we have got to maneuver on. March four: Descending Tucson’s loved Mt. Lemmon on my motorbike at 12:57 P. M. , my biking jersey pocket begins to vibrate. I pull over. I don’t understand why. I by no means solution my mobilephone whereas using. similar to I by no means fee my junk mail field. “Kathryn,” Winston bellows, “the major minister and his cupboard authorized it! You’re a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis! ” I vaguely bear in mind whoops of pleasure by means of a breathless silence of disbelief. I vaguely keep in mind telling Winston that i admire him. I vaguely take into accout using my motorbike again from Mt. Lemmon. I vaguely bear in mind calling my mom and dad. What I do bear in mind exceptionally is March four, even though I didn’t seize the symbolism at the start. All i may see was once the 3 months of ready, the 8 months of citizenship searching, the never-ending considering and wondering. however the resolution got here at the at some point of the yr that's a solution in itself—march forth! it's the in the future that honors a person on a quest, a person who has ever doubted themselves and questioned in the event that they may still maintain going. March forth. i'm going to. ALL HAIL THE WONDERMINION March-April 2008 If March four was once the most effective days of my existence, March five was once the most traumatic. I had lower than 3 months to qualify for the Olympics in biking, and there has been the moderate glitch that i'd no longer also be allowed to race. After diving into the sixty-eight-page rulebook of UCI rules for Olympic qualification, i found that even if UCI nationwide groups had to be registered via December 20, participants of nationwide groups might nonetheless compete within the races in the event that they have been requested to be on a longtime specialist workforce.

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