Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category

Simon Whitfield's Pursuit of Athletic Excellence
Nonfiction Ages 10+
Pages: 128
Themes: autobiography, sport, inspiration/motivation
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/10/2009
Lexile Level: 1020L
Bookmark and Share
From the moment Simon Whitfield burst onto the world stage at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games as triathlon's first Olympic champion, his winning personality and stellar athletic abilities have inspired young people around the globe.

In Simon Says Gold, Simon describes his personal journey to Olympic glory as he recounts not only that glorious day in Sydney, but also the anguish of failing to repeat as Olympic champion in Athens in 2004, and his dramatic comeback at the 2008 Beijing Games, when his exhilarating race to a silver medal enthralled millions of fans around the world. Simon's stories of the highs and lows of his running career will captivate readers young and old, but his real message—that the simple pursuit of excellence is its own reward—will also inspire and motivate. Not everyone can be an Olympian. Simon Whitfield believes that true greatness is in performing to the best of one's ability. The reward is in the effort, not the outcome.

School Library Journal - January 1, 2010
"[Whitfield] tells his story with candor, and he sheds light on the dark side of early success and the pressures athletes face…Participants and fans of track and field will enjoy Whitfield's insider's perspective and cheer his determined comeback."
Resource Links - December 1, 2009
"An interesting book that takes a look at what it really takes to be an Olympic athlete...Any school library that serves a population of sports fans or Olympic enthusiasts should consider adding this volume to their collection."
CM Magazine - November 20, 2009
"The author has captured Whitfield's candour and an engaging sense of humour in a straightforward, balanced writing style that brings this sports hero to the accessible level of the guy next door…For any aspiring young athlete feeding on the climate of high excitement at the approaching 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Simon's story will be inspirational. Highly Recommended."
Booklist Online - November 20, 2009
"[Simon's] honesty about his failures and uncertainty, as well as the dizzying excitement of victory, provides the drama in this action-packed biography…The star's personal highs and lows (he remembers his first triathlon when he was a teen), along with the details about preparing for the triathlon's three sports--running, cycling, and swimming--will grab teen athletes and fans…Readers will look forward to cheering Whitfield on in 2012."


Chocolate Lily nominee  | 2011 | Short-listed
CCBC Best Books  | 2011 | Commended

Ebooks available from the following retailers:

Resources for Teachers:

Orca Book Publishers produces a number of tools and resources to help teachers, librarians, reading specialists and other education professionals enrich the teaching and learning experience. Please visit our Teacher Resources website to access and download materials.

Classroom Materials:

Classroom Projects

Readers Theater Scripts

Teachers' Guides

Resource Guides

Research and Support Materials:

Common Core

Reading Levels

Reaching Reluctant Readers:

Best Books for Struggling Readers


Reading Strategies