The vast majority of us can only dream of being an Olympic-level athlete - but we have no real idea of what that means. Here, for the first time, in all its shocking, funny and downright bizarre glory, is the truth of the Olympic experience. It is an unimaginable world: the kitting-out ceremony with its 35kg of team clothing per athlete the pre-Olympic holding camp with its practical jokes, resentment and fighting, and freaky physiological regimes the politicians' visits with their flirty spouses the vast range of athletes with their odd body shapes and freakish genetics the release post-competion in the Olympic village with all the excessive drinking, eating, partying and sex (not necessarily in that order) the hysteria of homecoming celebrations and the comedown that follows - how do you adjust to life after the Games? The Secret Olympian talks to scores of Olympic athletes - past and present, from Munich 1960 right through to London 2012, including British, American, Australian, Dutch, French, Croatian, German, Canadian and Italian competitors. They all have a tale to tell - and most of those tales would make your eyes pop more than an Olympic weightlifter's.
"Wonderful ... an Olympic-standard writer" –Financial Times
"An irresistible proposition ... an insight into the life and mindset of a professional athlete. Anon shows us something more real: the myths, absurdity, frailty and futility that are the constant companions of the all or nothing, four yearly bid for sporting immortality" –Guardian
"An interesting, insightful examination of the experience of being an Olympic athlete" –Independent on Sunday
"A first-hand expose of the Olympic experience written in an enjoyable easygoing style" –Sport
"A well written, thoughtful and constantly illuminating look at what it's like to take part in the Olympic Games" –Daily Mail
"The beauty of this book is not in trying to unmask the writer but in becoming immersed in a journey usually taken by the privileged, and exceptional, few ... It's uplifting, sobering and often surreal" –Evening Standard
"Reveals just how much fun goes on in the Games" –Independent