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The Secret Olympian: The inside story of the Olympic experience

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  239 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The vast majority of us can only dream of being an Olympic-level athlete - but we have no real idea of what that means. Here, for the first time, in all its shocking, funny and downright bizarre glory, is the truth of the Olympic experience.

It is an unimaginable world:
the kitting-out ceremony with its 35kg of team clothing per athletethe pre-Olympic holding camp with its
...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by A&C Black (first published January 11th 2005)
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Average rating 3.42  · 
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Dachokie
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sports
Never Found the Secret ... or a Reason for the Author's Anonymity ...

With the 2012 Summer Olympics starting in a few weeks, my Olympic Fever was brought out of remission early after reading an online sampling of THE SECRET OLYMPIAN. The tantalizing summary of a book that gives an insider's view of the Games was too much to pass up. Even more enticing was the fact that the author preferred anonymity ... alluding to the revelation of some deep and damaging stuff. What better way to start watching
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AJ
Nov 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
With a title like "The Secret Olympian" and an author of "Anonymous," I think it's reasonable to assume that the text inside such a book is going to be juicy and revealing. Unfortunately, this book is not juicy, nor is it revealing. It's just another book about the Olympics, with a lot of quotes and interviews from many Olympians (both those who have and haven't won medals). Honestly, I'm not even sure why this book had to be published anonymously. The author leaves hir sport after competing in ...more
Susan May
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I read this book just after the Olympics finished and found it to be quite a fascinating insight. It’s not everything you would hope for when the author is Anonymous. However, its certainly improved my knowledge of the obstacles faced by elite athletes, along with the disappointments of not winning and the impact of arriving home to either retire or work for another four years.

At $19.99 it is certainly an easy choice for the sport’s nut or would make a great gift for your lovable sport’s fan.

Vis
...more
Alli
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoirs-and-bios
I don't know what I was expecting - 50 Shades of Grey shenanigans with gold medals, perhaps? - but this incredibly dry overview of how boring being an Olympic athlete is was not it. Why was this written anonymously? The only person who came off badly was the author himself, who mostly just seemed to be dealing with a case of sour grapes. ...more
James
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Anonymity can go one of two ways in writing. Either it is a candid account that reveals details that would have repercussions, or it removes the personal details that make a story interesting. Unfortunately this was firmly in the latter camp, and whilst there was the odd revealing moment, I cynically wonder whether marketing a 'secret' athlete was considered easier than a minority sport figure no-one has heard of.

I'm assuming this was ghosted as it reads very similarly to truly mass-market titl
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Emily
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was ok
Honestly not as exciting as all the outside of the book leads you to believe.

If this was someone's individual story of their Olympic experience, then it would have been a more enjoyable book. However, the fact that they name drop a handful of Team GB athletes constantly seems to be as though there isn't really that much to talk about when it comes to the Olympics, either because of contractural obligations, or the fact that nothing really happens in the athlete's personal time with all the cons
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Kelly Harris
Dec 27, 2020 rated it liked it
The Secret Olympian is an easy read (and short novel) that I found to be a good source of motivation as to why an individual should remain focused and determined for their particular passion.

The anonymity of this novel is something that also drew me in and continued to enthrall me throughout. I found that I was trying to piece bits together the small snippets provided by the author, and by a process of elimination, figure out who they may be.

This book takes you on a journey to understand how a
...more
Sam
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
intriguing insight into what it’s like to be a part of the Olympics. Don’t really get why it was written anonymously as their is nothing scandalous in here.

4* because it’s well written and detailed.
Sebastiaan
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun behind the scenes view of an olympian's life. At time hilarious. Gave a good feel for the struggles and the theme was captivating. ...more
Richard Luck
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perfect reading this or any other Olympic year. A great way to ready yourself for the greatest show on Rarth.
Simon Howard
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure why this book's author wanted to remain anonymous. Perhaps he's a particularly shy individual. Perhaps he felt it would threaten his future career. Perhaps it was a marketing ploy. But it certainly can't have been because of any shocking revelations or accusations made in the book, because there simply aren't any. And, actually, the associated coyness around mentioning the sport in which he competes makes this book lack a little something. The anonymity is a shame.

That said, it does
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Cheyenne Blue
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cheyenne by: Seen in Brisbane Airport
Pushed out in time to cash in on London Olympic fever, this is an interesting and easy read. The author is Anon, although to be honest, I'm not sure why. There's nothing in here that I can see that will make enemies or get him snubbed for breaking ranks. I suspect Anon is because, as the author wryly comments in the final chapter, an Olympian's fame post games is about two weeks, slightly longer if you're a medalist. Given that the British author of this is reputed to be one of the men's rowing ...more
Christian Leonard Quale
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
During the Olympics I heard this book mentioned, so I figured I would give it a try. It describes the Olympics seen through the eyes of an Olympic athlete, from the point where they get told they are competing, to the point where they are done competing and don't know what to do with the rest of their lives. It's based on the personal experiences of the author, as well as on interviews with other Olympians. The story is told well, and general Olympic history and trivia is interjected at appropri ...more
Andrew Young
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was mentioned several times over the 2012 Olympics via numerous media sources and being an athletic competitor myself, I thought this book could potentially be an interesting read.
It turned out to be a good, light read that taught me a lot about what happens away from the well documented competition of the Olympics and the book was just about the right length to keep me interested. The use of several athletes from different countries/cultures was also a good idea.
However as recorded b
...more
Kym Hamer
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Subtitled 'the inside story of the Olympic experience' and anonymously written, this reveals the good, the bad and the ugly about the relentless and single-minded focus required to get there, the struggle between reveling in just 'being there' versus the all-or-nothing sense of opportunity and the aftermath - of the Games themselves but also of a career that does not really foster a rounded preparation for life as we mere mortals know it. Aside from the author's own experiences, there are also l ...more
Judy
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
I plodded my way through this book. It is an interesting look into the intense lives of those who strive for sporting perfection. I did at times find it just a bit smug and self indulgent and had to keep giving myself reminders to pick it up and finish it. But I am glad I did, as the final few chapters covering the end of sporting careers and returning to "normal" life was definitely worth the plod. ...more
Ken
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some interesting tidbits about the life of an Olympian and the thoughts they go through when getting ready for the games and their lives afterwards. There's nothing going on in this book that will shock you or incriminate the author so I don't see why he remained anonymous.

If you are looking for dirt on athletes then this is not the book for you. What this book offers though are thoughts and insights into athletes who have made it and those that didn't.
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Jill Jaracz
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
A glimpse of what it's like to be an Olympian. Written anonymously by a member of Team GB, I don't think the content lived up to the need for the author to take his name off of it. I spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out who it was. An entertaining read though--and interesting to get a gloss-over of what Olympians go through to get to the Olympics and what it's like once the party's over. ...more
Niki Kane
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very interesting reading the perspective of the Olympic athlete. The author brought good personally to the book, loved the references to Star Wars!

Although I enjoyed this book I don't understand why the author has chosen to stay anonymous. By remaining anonymous this indicates that there would be some big revelation, which there wasn't!
Still a good read though
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Sarabeth
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you love the Olympics, this book is a must-read! I love that it is not too juicy or full of sensationalism, but more about the true Olympic experience thought the eyes of the athletes. Great timing for the release of the book. Go Anon!
Trevor Persaud
Oct 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction
An interesting look at a side of the sports world few people get to see. Gives you a new perspective on the Olympics, beyond what you can see on TV and in the press. Well-researched and thoroughly entertaining.
June
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
There is no reason why this book had to be written "anonymously." I expected wild tales of sex, doping and drugs. Nada. Still, mildly interesting to see what an Olympic athlete experiences at the games. ...more
Carl
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sport
An enjoyable read but not ground breaking.

Think the answer to why it was written anonymously is simply for marketing. Implying some saucy or revealing info that isn't there.

Also because of the success of The Secret Footballer.
...more
Nora Elisabeth
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am not really sure why the author preferred to be anon. The book is nicely written though, with a lot of detail about the Games. There is not really any dirty stuff, so I would really like to know who the athlete is and which Olympics he went to.
Debs
I have read half of the book to page 100, since I have to study IELTS preparation, I decided not to finish this book as I found this book is too slow to read.

I will finish it someday whenever I can find the book again from library.

PS: There is no secret that revealed
Denise
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012, own
Interesting look behind the scenes of the Olympic Games.
Faye
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this behind the scenes look at the Olympics
Dom
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
tell secrets about the opympiac that you never hear about else you read this book
Ben
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great insights into the secret and not-so-secret life of an Olympian. Great comments from other athletes as well as the (unknown?) authors personal insights. Easy reading.
Heather
Quite an interesting read, and easy to pick up/put down when I had a few minutes in which to spend with a book.
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Books can be attributed to "Anonymous" for several reasons:

* They are officially published under that name
* They are traditional stories not attributed to a specific author
* They are religious texts not generally attributed to a specific author

Books whose authorship is merely uncertain should be attributed to Unknown.
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