CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 4 . . . . October 15, 2004
With the 2004 summer Olympics taking place in Athens, Greece, this book is particularly timely for sports fans, aspiring athletes, or any Canadian who takes an interest in the Olympic Games. Watching the Olympics, even from the comfort of an armchair, always evokes feelings of nationalistic pride when Canadians compete. Hearts of Gold evokes those same emotions.
Zeiler has included over twenty winter and summer Olympians of the past century whose dedication and courage are truly inspiring. The details of each story are different, yet the overall message is fundamentally the same. It's great when the medal is gold, but it's absolutely imperative that the heart be gold. This is a group of athletes who have faced more than the challenge of being physically and mentally ready for their individual sporting events. They have endured physical injuries, political situations beyond their control, and technical difficulties. All are true stories; all display the incredible triumph of the human spirit over adversity.
There are plenty of good quality colour photographs in Hearts of Gold, and these, along with in-depth stories in each short chapter (5 - 6 pages), help readers feel they truly know and understand each individual athlete. They may not all have been winners on the Olympic podium, but all are people who followed their dreams and their highest instincts, thereby providing examples of excellence for all of us.
Ann Ketcheson is a former teacher of high school English and French and currently is the teacher-librarian at Peterborough Collegiate in Peterborough, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.