As we witness history within the World Games of 2022, take some time to reflect on past athletic achievements in these biographies and histories on famous athletes!
An inspiring and intimate self-portrait of a champion of equality that encompasses her brilliant tennis career, unwavering activism, and an ongoing commitment to fairness and social justice.
Billie Jean King was only seven years old when she told her mother, I’m going to do something great with my life someday. But the world she wanted did not exist yet, so she set out to create it. In this spirited account, King details her life’s journey to find her true self. She recounts her groundbreaking tennis successes that came at a breathtaking pace–six years as the top-ranked woman in the world, twenty Wimbledon championships, thirty-nine grand-slam titles, and her watershed defeat of Bobby Riggs in the famous Battle of the Sexes. King poignantly recalls the cultural backdrop of her career and the profound impact on her worldview from the women’s movement, the assassinations and anti-war protests of the 1960s, the civil rights movement, and, eventually, the LGBTQ+ rights movement.
King describes the myriad challenges she hurdled, including entrenched sexism, an eating disorder, near financial ruin after being outed, and accepting her sexual identity. It was not until the age of 51 that she began to publicly and unequivocally acknowledge, I am gay. Today, King’s life remains one of indefatigable service. She offers insights and advice on leadership, business, activism, sports, politics, marriage equality, parenting, sexuality and love. She shows how living honestly and openly has had a transformative effect on her relationships and happiness. Hers is the story of a pathbreaking feminist, world-class athlete, and an indomitable spirit whose impact has transcended her achievements in sports.
Discover the story of one of the most transcendent players in NBA history–from his early life living in poverty in Greece to his inspiring rise to super-stardom in America.
As the face of the NBA’s new world order, Giannis Antetokounmpo has overcome unfathomable obstacles to become a symbol of hope for people all over the world, the personification of the American Dream. But his backstory remains largely untold, and Fader unearths new information about the childhood that shaped “The Greek Freak”—from sleeping side by side with his brothers to selling trinkets on the side of the street with his family to the racism he experienced in Greece. Antetokounmpo grew up in an era when Golden Dawn, Greek’s far-right, anti-immigrant party, patrolled his neighborhood, and his status as an illegal immigrant largely prevented him from playing for Greek’s top clubs, making his rise to the NBA all the more improbable. Fader tells a deeply-human story of how an unknown, skinny, Black-Greek teen, who played in the country’s lowest pro division and was seen as a draft gamble, transformed his body and his game into MVP material.
Antetokounmpo’s story has been framed as a feel-good narrative in which the globe has embraced him, watching him grow up and lead the underdog Bucks to the best record in the NBA in 2020. Giannis reveals a more nuanced story: how hesitant Antetokounmpo was, and still is, to spend money; how lonely and isolated he felt, adjusting to America and the NBA early in his career; the way he changed after his father recently died of a heart attack; the complexity of grappling with his Black and Greek identities; how private he is, so hard on himself and his shortcomings, a drive that fuels him every day; and the deep-rooted responsibility he feels to be a nurturing role model for his younger brothers. Fader illustrates a more vulnerable star than people know, a person who has evolved triumphantly into all of his roles: as father, brother, son, teammate, and global icon. Giannis gives readers a front-row seat as Antetokounmpo strives for an elusive championship with the Bucks, quelling speculation about potentially leaving Milwaukee after signing a five-year supermax contract extension worth $228 million. Now, he contends with his next big hurdle: proving that committing to a small-market franchise can bring Milwaukee back to glory.
Megan Rapinoe, Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion, has become a galvanizing force for social change; here, she urges all of us to take up the mantle, with actions big and small, to continue the fight for justice and equality
Megan Rapinoe is one of the world’s most talented athletes. But beyond her massive professional success on the soccer field, Rapinoe has become an icon and ally to millions, boldly speaking out on the issues that matter most. In recent years, she’s become one of the faces of the equal pay movement and her tireless activism for LGBTQ rights has earned her global support.
In One Life, Rapinoe embarks on a thoughtful and unapologetic discussion of social justice and politics. Raised in a conservative small town in northern California, the youngest of six, Rapinoe was four years old when she kicked her first soccer ball. Her parents encouraged her love for the game, but also urged her to volunteer at homeless shelters and food banks. Her passion for community engagement never wavered through high school or college, all the way up to 2016, when she took a knee during the national anthem in solidarity with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, to protest racial injustice and police brutality – the first high-profile white athlete to do so. The backlash was immediate, but it couldn’t compare to the overwhelming support. Rapinoe became a force of social change, both on and off the field.
Using anecdotes from her own life and career, from suing the United States Soccer Federation alongside her teammates over gender discrimination to her widely publicized refusal to visit the White House, Rapinoe discusses the obligation we all have to speak up, and reveals the impact each of us can have on our communities. As she declared during the soccer team’s victory parade in New York in 2019, “[T]his is everybody’s responsibility, every single person here, every single person who is not here, every single person who doesn’t want to be here, every single person who agrees and doesn’t agree…. It takes everybody. This is my charge to everybody. Do what you can. Do what you have to do. Step outside yourself. Be more. Be better. Be bigger than you’ve ever been before.”
Shrill meets Brotopia in this personal and researched look at women’s rights and issues through the lens of sports, from an award-winning sports journalist and women’s advocate
In a society that is digging deep into the misogyny underlying our traditions and media, the world of sports is especially fertile ground. From casual sexism, like condescending coverage of women’s pro sports, to more serious issues, like athletes who abuse their partners and face only minimal consequences, this area of our culture is home to a vast swath of gender issues that apply to all of us–whether or not our work and leisure time revolve around what happens on the field.
No one is better equipped to examine sports through this feminist lens than sports journalist Julie DiCaro. Throughout her experiences covering professional sports for more than a decade, DiCaro has been outspoken about the exploitation of the female body, the covert and overt sexism women face in the workplace, and the male-driven toxicity in sports fandom. Now through candid interviews, personal anecdotes, and deep research, she’s tackling these thorny issues and exploring what America can do to give women a fair and competitive playing field in sports and beyond.
Covering everything from the abusive online environment at Barstool Sports to the sexist treatment of Serena Williams and professional women’s teams fighting for equal pay and treatment, and looking back at pioneering women who first took on the patriarchy in sports media, Sidelined will illuminate the ways sports present a microcosm of life as a woman in America–and the power in fighting back.
The Tao of Gung Fu reveals Bruce Lee’s thoughtful analysis of the tapestry of Chinese martial arts—offering glimpses into the varied styles and his commentary on these arts. Lee’s intense curiosity led him to accumulate this knowledge and expose the limitations of strict adherence to tradition, which inspired him to develop his cosmopolitan “way of no way.”
The Tao of Gung Fu includes insights into various Chinese martial arts and training methodologies, sketches of martial arts techniques, Lee’s personal scrapbook of his famous thesis, “The Tao of Gung Fu.” Witness Lee’s personal cultivation of excellence in martial arts. His application of philosophy to physical movements epitomizes the unification of mind and body—a genuine way of living for the martial artist.
What is Gung Fu?—An Introduction to Chinese Gung Fu, On Yin and Yang, and Bridging the Gap of Yin and Yang
Some Techniques of Gung Fu—The Fundamentals of Gung Fu, The Basic Striking Points of Gung Fu, Introducing the Wing Chun Straight Punch, and The Practice of Forms
Taoism in the Chinese Art of Gung Fu—On Wu-Hsin (No-Mindedness), On Wu Wei (Nondoing), and Centered Thoughts
Ideas and Opinions—Traditions and Histories of Chinese Gung Fu, The Question of Psychic Center, and Bruce’s view on Gung Fu
Appendices—Bruce Lee’s gung fu background at the time he wrote this book, Gung Fu terminology, and Letters and gung fu scrapbook