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How To Be An Olympian

By Harry Reardon

The inside story of two women, an Olympic rower and a Paralympic cyclist, going for Tokyo 2020 gold

Sport
108% funded
121 supporters
Published

Publication date: September 2021

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The Racer

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The Pacesetter

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The Champion (EARLY BIRD)

1st edition paperback, eBook edition and your name in the list of Super Patrons in the front of the book. EARLY BIRD price, only 20 available.
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The Champion

1st edition paperback, eBook edition and your name in the list of Super Patrons in the front of the book.
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The Double

2 x 1st edition paperbacks, eBook with two names in Super Patrons list in front of book
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The Journey

A personalised video message from Jess thanking you for your contribution and support. Plus everything from The Champion level. Only 20 available.
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The Squad

10 x 1st edition paperbacks, eBook with up to ten names in Super Patrons list in front of book
$190  + shipping
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My Olympic Dream

Become your own inspiration! Pick an Olympic or Paralympic sport, and Harry will write an article telling the story of just how *you* made it to Tokyo 2020 (article will be approximately 1,000 words in length). Plus everything from The Champion level. Only 10 available.
$375  + shipping
2 pledges

The Gold Medal

A 1-to-1, one hour ergo-based training session with Jess, travel not included. Plus everything from The Champion level. Only 5 available.

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How to be an Olympian is about hope. 

More prosaically perhaps, it’s about rower Jess Leyden and cyclist Hannah Dines, two women who represent Great Britain's Olympic and Paralympic present and future, and their journeys between Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

It’s the Olympic story of Jess, an age-group world champion and senior world medallist. It’s about how she missed out on Rio by a matter of seconds, then got back in the same boat and dragged it through a season of turmoil to world championships bronze. It’s about training camps and cut-throat trials, and – for now at least, because it all depends on where the coaches want to put you – it’s about everything that comes with being four women in a boat.

It’s the Paralympic story of Hannah, who went to Rio three years after seeing her first racing trike and two years after seeing her second, and managed to pull her own round to a pair of fifth places in the time trial and the road race. It’s about how she was dropped by British Cycling, suffered health scares and self-doubt, scraped together funding from wherever she could, and battled her way back into contention on her own terms.

Training sessions and races, setbacks and breakthroughs, injuries and bust-ups, it’s all here, and don’t ask us how it’s all going to end, because we couldn’t tell you. But then, isn’t that the beauty of it? In a world in which the difference between success and failure can be as insubstantial as the tread of a tyre or the ebb of a bow ball, it’s about what you can’t control as much as what you can, and at any moment, it could all come crashing down. And that, as much as anything else, is why they do it.

And so How to be an Olympian isn’t really about winning, even when they do, and it isn’t really about glory, even if that comes. It’s about what it’s really like to dedicate the best years of your life to the uncertainty of a moment. 

It’s a story about hope.

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$20  + shipping
27 pledges

The Pacesetter

1st edition paperback, eBook edition.
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The Racer

eBook edition
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