Required Reading: Learning From the Past

A trio of books that teaches leadership and inspires confidence through the stories of Olympic legends and sports icons

August 22, 2017

Game Changers

Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History

Molly Schiot

PLOT  Molly Schiot writes about the influential female sports figures who have helped pave the way for women in sports today.

MEAT The book contains rare photos and interviews of both past and present female athletes and sports figures such as Abby Wambach, former U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Captain, and ESPN SportsCenter anchor Cari Champion. The book dates back all the way to the 1920s, featuring women who revolutionized sports such as the most renowned bullfighter ever, Conchita Cintrón.

TWIST The Instagram that the book draws inspiration from, @TheUnsungHeroines, was started by Schiot in 2014 to feature a female athlete every day who has helped shape the sport and female empowerment.


The Idealist

The Idealist: The Story of Baron Pierre de Coubertin

George Hirthler

PLOT  Baron Pierre de Coubertin is credited with resurrecting the Olympic games more than a century ago. The challenges he overcame in bringing the Games into the modern age are skillfully recounted by Hirthler, a respected historian in this realm.

MEAT The book follows the different stages in Coubertin’s life and the changes the Olympics has undergone throughout the years. Coubertin’s early research and efforts put into advocating physical education and sport as part of school curriculum manifested in the creation of the modern Olympic games.

TWIST Coubertin’s ideals are regularly challenged by politics behind organizations and businesses. However, his relentless fervor is portrayed beautifully in Hirthler’s storytelling. With Coubertin striving for unification of the world through sport, this book reminds us that we are at our best when we hold each other up.


Choose to Matter

Choose to Matter: Being Courageously and Fabulously YOU

Julie Foudy

PLOT  Julie Foudy’s professional soccer days shape the narrative as she strives to convey her life lessons through competition and overcoming obstacles while being true to yourself.

MEAT Foudy delivers the message that all women are able to be leaders, expressing the importance of personal growth through teamwork, community, and self-reflection. Her conversations with her former Olympic teammates and other female figures such as Taliban survivor Fatima Noori and Good Morning America host Robin Roberts are woven into her message.

TWIST Foudy played for the United States women’s national soccer from 1987 to 2004, winning two gold medals and one silver medal. She now works for ESPN as an analyst, report, and writer.

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