Friday, August 17, 2012

Gold by Chris Cleave

Well, the Olympics have come and gone for another four years, and my family and I enjoyed them immensely. Four two solid weeks, the cheers of "USA!" and "Go, Lochte! Jeah!" could be heard ringing throughout my house, as we were mesmerized once again by the amazing feats of the USA swim team and the Fierce Five. But one sport that I never would have taken the time to watch this year except for having read Chris Cleave's newest novel, Gold, also kept me riveted to the screen. The sport is bicycle track racing - a global phenomenon in other countries apparently, and completely exciting as depicted in Cleave's book.

In Gold, two women and one man become friends, lovers, mothers, fathers, Olympians, and enemies all in the name of track cycling. Done in an arena called a Velodrome, these high speed racers risk life and limb on these bikes, racing millimeters from each others' tires, going so fast that they can hardly breathe, the lactic acid building in their bodies to dizzying degrees. I learned so much about sports medicine, training regimens, and race tactics from this book that you would think it was a boring encyclopedia on biking. But no! The story was just as amazing as the real racers I watched in the London Velodrome. The characters were real, sacrificing everything for their sport, their intense love for each other, and the little child who belonged to them all.

What did each of the characters give up to race for the gold in the Olympics? What would you give up? Everything? Nothing? Read Gold, and you may change your mind about your own goals and dreams. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

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