|This sports book “Faster Stronger Higher” Volume 1 profiles the lives and achievements of New Zealand Olympic champions from 1912 to 1968. It also includes a chapter on Harry Kerr New Zealand’s first Olympic medal winner. The author has started work on the sequel Volume 2 and hopes to complete all profiles by 2012|
The Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement are the source of inspiration for many writers. Numerous books have been written on many aspects of the Games and the champions which emerge from them.
Wilf Haskell has written a book which is unique. His research into the previously unrecorded background of New Zealand’s Olympic champions provides some new and interesting insights into our gold medal winners from our first involvement in the Olympic Games through to the 1960’s. He is also working on a sequel to this book to continue those insights from the 1960’s to the present day winners.
What makes this book special is the detailed understanding and recording of what made the champions so successful in world’s top sporting competition. These factors include their background and upbringing, the influences that they were subjected to, their training and their sport-career balance.
In the early days any athlete aspiring to compete on the world stage had to be hugely independent and innovative. Such training innovations, many of which are graphically portrayed, are reflective of the very amateur environment which existed, which encouraged our athletes to be extremely creative and resourceful in their quest for great international success.
The strong pictorial element of this book provides some amusing and interesting reflections on the trials and tribulations of our early champions thus reminding us of New Zealand’s sporting progress from amateur sport to professional and semi-professional sport which is the environment for our sporting elites today.
Even the mode of travelling from New Zealand to major sporting events has provided some colourful insights. Lengthy boat journeys which were the norm for our top athletes who competed for the first half of last century caused some challenges. It was difficult for athletes to maintain condition (at least) let alone enhance their performance prior to the most intense competition in the world.
Today’s athletes place high expectations on those who organise them, manage them or coach them. We accept that and work hard to provide them with the professional environment to allow them to excel.
I hope that today’s top athletes will take time out to read this book; not just to dwell on the past or on the difficulties faced by our early champions. These written profiles may prove rather to be a timely reminder that since the beginning of our sporting history the country’s athletes have always competed against the odds and have proved to be courageous, creative and resourceful as they strove to be the best in the world.
New Zealand Olympic Committee
Used expressions:Faster Stronger Higher (Wilf Haskell) ,This sports book “Faster Stronger Higher” Volume 1 profiles the lives and achievements of New Zealand Olympic champions from 1912 to 1968. It also includes a chapter on Harry Kerr New Zealand’s first Olympic medal winner. The author has started work on the sequel Volume 2 and hopes to complete all profiles by 2012
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