Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Jamaican Olympian hoping to inspire others with book

Published:Saturday | May 27, 2017 | 5:00 AMShayne Fairman

Following favourable reviews from readers in Germany and the United Kingdom, Olympian Dennis Blake says he is hoping to have his memoir - An Olympian's Hidden Secrets - debut in Jamaica soon.

According to Blake, his self-published book will give a behind-the-scenes view of an Olympian's career, adding the book has being picked up by Kingston Bookshop.

"They had asked me to send a copy, and we are working out the logistics.

It would be exciting to see the book being carried in stores in Jamaica, but so far, feedback is really great in terms of readers," underlined Blake.

The former national representative-turned-author is based in the United States. He has detailed what he calls struggles that propelled him to win a relay bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, and silver at the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

"The book is striking a chord, opening a dialogue, and for athletes aspiring to become professional, and those whose background might be similar to mine or to get hope, get motivation and be inspired when they read my story," Blake told The Gleaner.

Blake, 46, via his memoir, documents his early life story of rising from humble upbringing in the deep-rural Morningside district in St Elizabeth, and overcoming everyday struggles to attend St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS).

"The public sees the beginning and the end of a track and field career, they enjoy the glory of our achievements, but they don't see and know of the struggles and just how much it means to represent your country," continued Blake.

"I set the goal so hard for myself, which was not to just primary or high-school championships, the goal was to achieve the ultimate an Olympic medal, and my strategic pathway to get there," he added.

Blake shared the impact of the positive feedback that he has received.

"To be honest, it is rejuvenating, it gives me a different kind of Olympics. I see myself as a kind of advocate to tell the story of the hidden secrets and help inspire those upcoming athletes like me who come from humble background," he added.