Finding the Champion Within

Bruce Jenner, Author Simon & Schuster $23 (271p) ISBN 978-0-684-81852-8
After winning the gold medal for the decathlon in 1976, Jenner rode the wave of Olympic fame, working in sports broadcasting, public speaking and commercial endorsements. Gradually, he spiraled downward into a series of B-movie acting jobs and, finally, virtual obscurity. But using the same methods by which he rose to Olympic heights, he turned his life around and worked his way back to even greater career and personal success. Here, Jenner uses each of the 10 events of the decathlon to describe how others can do the same, a metaphor that provides an unusual and captivating way to present motivational material. Jenner's descriptions of his personal experiences are compelling, and his enthusiastic encouragement to others to find their life's mission and fulfill it is memorable. Unfortunately, the book is padded with so many quotations and anecdotes from other sources that Jenner's voice often gets lost. He also leaves out so much information about himself that it's a surprise when, late in the book, he mentions that he has been married and divorced twice and has four children. These would seem to be important elements in a story of personal journey, as would an explanation of how he managed to overcome the daunting obstacle of ""200 dollars in the bank and... approximately 300,000 dollars in debt."" With some judicious editing and more candor from the author, this would have been a stand-out among motivational books; as is, it's merely adequate. Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and Doubleday Health Book Club alternate selections. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1996
Release date: 01/01/1996
Genre: Nonfiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-671-55720-1
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-684-83555-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-4704-8
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-684-87037-3
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