What a great idea!
Having been spellbound by the Olympics over the past 2 weeks a press release about a book based on ordinary people picked at random to participate in the next Olympics gao me thinking.
Michelle Sinclair’s novel Olympicked! imagines just that – a Games where all the competitors are chosen by random selection and given just four years to train in their allocated sport.
Michelle, who lived in London until earlier this year, got the idea from a chance remark made by her husband. “He joked that the Olympics would be much more entertaining if it was ordinary people competing instead of highly trained athletes. It was just a passing comment, but the thought stuck in my mind and the more I thought about it, the more I realised it wasn’t such a crazy idea. People could achieve quite a lot with four years to train, and it wouldn’t quite be the comedy or disaster that you might first imagine.
“In fact, Olympic athlete Helen Glover has vividly demonstrated that it isn’t a completely crazy idea – she only started rowing four years ago, and won Gold at London 2012!”
Would you have the dedication to meet a 4 year Olympic goal?
So if you had 4 years to train, which Olympic sport would you choose? Would you have the commitment and dedication to set achieve a 4 year Olympic gold? Would you compete against the rest of the world or just to look to achieve your personal best?
It’s an interesting scenario. I asked Michelle which sport she would like to be allocated if her idea was ever put into practice. For her it would be swimming (“I can get from one of the pool to the other”) or perhaps trampolining, which would be both fun and invigorating.
But Michelle also realised that having to undertake such intense training would be bound to impact on the lives of those chosen, and that became the focus of the novel, which follows eight of those chosen to compete for Great Britain at the 2020 Games.
Gary is a jobless teenager being edged towards a life of crime on a run-down housing estate; can his salvation take the form of a horse? Betty is a campaigning pensioner living life to the full and determined to fly the flag not just for her country but for older people everywhere. Susan is desperate to have a baby and is worried that the Olympic dream will interfere with her own personal goal. And Carl simply wants to impress his young daughter.
Together with an alcoholic civil servant, a party-loving gay man, a bored housewife and an out-of-work actress, their stories are told. Follow them as they learn of their selection and begin their training, facing obstacles along the way. Will they make it to the Olympic Park, and can any of them achieve that elusive Gold medal?
Should there be a true ‘People’s Olympics’?
Olympicked! is available in kindle format and paperback from www.amazon.co.uk or to order from any book shop. ISBN 978-1-78176-181-6
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