By Kathryn Bertine
Think George Plimpton. other than with genuine athletic skill. And he’s a lady. And she’s taken on a problem that makes Paper Lion look like a brisk online game of move Fish.
Meet Kathryn Bertine, elite triathlete, former expert 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 time Olympics in Beijing. As reliable As Gold is the heroic, hilarious account of Bertine’s serial labor 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 hindrances variety from jet lag to jellyfish, flat tires to floundering relationships, repeated rejection to highway rash. yet, as time is operating out, Bertine doesn’t sweat the small stuff, basically the large—like scouring the globe for a tiny kingdom to undertake her, and pushing her physique and brain so far as it's going to move. possibly the entire option to China.
Between harrowing, usually laugh-out-loud episodes of triumph and humiliation, Bertine takes brief “Water Breaks” to consider 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 stable as Gold, Bertine proves she has whatever extra necessary than an Olympic medal. She’s acquired Olympic mettle. by way of the human middle, she takes the gold.
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Additional info for As Good As Gold: 1 Woman, 9 Sports, 10 Countries, and a 2-Year Quest to Make the Summer Olympics
Lucas simply has to ask permission from any athlete before taking their photo. But for the most part, he’ll be photographing me. Unfortunately, there is a downside to having a personal paparazzo: I stick out like a sore thumb. There is a flashing sign above my head that blinks Journalist! , making it even more imperative to show the coaches (and fellow athletes) that I am here as an athlete. That I want to be treated like an athlete. Because, well, I am an athlete. The journalism part? That is my job.
After a few minutes of successful bapping, I notice that I’m actually getting better. I’ve nailed six bull’s-eyes right in the cornea. My right arm is incredibly fatigued after two hours of holding a blade and a pistol at a ninety-degree angle, and when practice is over I feel terribly lopsided. The left side of my body hasn’t done nearly as much work today. I look over at the woman next to me, who is combating this very problem by holding the pistol in her left hand and extending her arm for one-minute intervals.
The idea of moving somewhere new and unfamiliar was unsettling. I only had two years to attempt to get to the Olympics—and in new surroundings, given my capacity to get lost, I would lose some of that time just getting acclimated. I have the sense of direction of a gnat. So where could I base myself that felt familiar, comforting, and conducive to summer sports? Tucson, Arizona. Having graduated from the University of Arizona with an MFA in creative writing in 2000, I knew the city, liked the people, and loved the climate (with the exception of June and July).