Mullen offers an acclaimed and mesmerizing account of the two-year journey made by an elite team of swimmers from California all the way to the 2000 Olympic Games. Bold and sweeping in its presentation, pace, and literary power, Gold in the Water changes our notion of the modern Olympic athlete.
A team of talented young men begin pursuing the most elusive dream in sports, the Olympic Games. The pressure steadily increases as two best friends (a mentor and his protégé) reach the top of the world rankings and unexpectedly find themselves direct competitors. Their teammates include an emerging star methodically plotting to retrace his father's path to Olympic glory as well as a super-extraordinary athlete desperate to walk away from it all. Led by one of the most passionate coaches in sports, a brilliant and explosive strategist on a personal quest for redemption, this team of dark horses and Olympic favorites works through escalating rivalries, joyous triumphs, and heartbreaking setbacks. This remarkable book tells a remarkable—and true, and deeply inspiring—story.
"Mullen does an excellent job not only conveying the daily torture that elite swimmers go through in the pool, but also of giving insight into lesser-known aspects of swimming."—The New York Times
"This is the book I wish I had written. Gold in the Water accurately and vividly describes the emotional turmoil that preceded an Olympic Games, and it made me care about the character of the participants, not just their swimming. I couldn't put it down."—John Naber, author of Awaken the Olympian Within, and president of the U.S. Olympic Alumni
"An intimate look at the physical training along with the emotional and psychological rollercoaster ride for the swimmers as they try to make the Olympic team."—Publishers Weekly
"Like the best sports books, this one spends a lot of time with the athletes, letting us see them not just as performers but as people . . . Superb."—Booklist (starred review)