You never know where your passions will take you. I started writing essays about the Games in August 2016. My enthusiasm for American winners quickly turned to irritation as many of them garnered little to no attention in the news. I decided to fix that. I wrote a book about them.
Outside the Rio Spotlight covers American heroes who competed in the lesser-known sports, like judo, cycling, or fencing. Some of them, like wrestlers Helen Maroulis and shot putter Raven Saunders, also made headlines by winning medals in Tokyo. These dozen athletes—record-breakers, notable pioneers, and all-around thrilling competitors—were often overlooked in the prime-time TV coverage so obsessed with sprinters, soccer legacies, and “angry faces” made in the waiting rooms of the swimmers.
Told in the style of 16 Days of Glory, the book details the tournaments for these twelve athletes who compete with little funding and even less hype for the love of their sport and the honor of their country. After all, that is the essence of the Olympics.
These athletes did it whether anyone was watching or not.
For a sampling of Outside the Rio Spotlight, click here.