If Gold Is Our Destiny: How a Team of Mavericks Came Together for Olympic Glory

Rowman & Littlefield Jul. 2022. 264p. ISBN 9781538154854. $34. SPORTS
This is the inspirational story of how the USA Volleyball team strove for and ultimately won Olympic gold medals in 1984. Murray worked with the coaches and players of that volleyball team. His goal was to get the players to work together and, he writes, “I got to watch a group of individuals become a team and, in the process, became the best in what they did.” Murray’s book is meticulously researched –much of it based on the author’s interviews with coaches and players. Head Coach Doug Beal worked with team psychologists to find creative solutions to team building. One such creative solution was to send the team on an Outward Bound expedition to build resilience; the the players were required to undertake a three-week, 100-mile hike in freezing temperatures in the Canyonlands and Abajo Mountains in Utah. Murray writes of the game and how they won, the medal ceremony, and receiving great acclaim. Murray also discusses the players’ lives after earning Olympic gold.
VERDICT A very intriguing and exciting book about the road to an Olympic win and how crucial developing teamwork is to a winning team. Highly recommended.
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