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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold

Thomas Nelson Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold

This is the story of the most unlikely Olympic decathlete in history. Despite size and stature, Bryan Clay is the defending champion of the 2008 Olympic gold medal and winner of the 2004 Olympic silver medal in the decathlon. His journey is as inspiring and triumphant as it is gritty and troubled. More than just a sports memoir, Redemption tells the story of a fist-fighting, drug-using boy and how the relentless prayers of his mother transformed him into a Christian family man and Olympic gold medalist. An inspiring memoir that will encourage you to achieve victory in all areas of your life!
Average Customer Rating:
4.35 out of 5
4.3
 out of 
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19 out of 2095%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Review 1 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good - Especially for young athletes

Date:January 13, 2013
Customer Avatar
MitchBlackburn
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Redemption is Bryan Clay's first-person tale of redemption - in two, interwoven ways. Most importantly, is Clay's description of the people and processes in his lift that lead him to a personal relationship with Christ. Secondly, its his tale of transforming from a confused, angry kid to a world-class decathlete.
It is a great story, and Clay does a good job of demonstrating how his development as a Christian, and the related principles drove his success as a husband, father, and athlete. The language and writing style is simple, so it would be particularly well suited for a young athlete. However this same writing style may make the book seem a little juvenile for adult readers.
I would recommend this book to parents that want to help their children recognize the power of Christian development in both their religious and athletic development.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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Review 2 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great book

Date:January 3, 2013
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alisa
Location:Utah
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I really enjoyed this book. I had not heard of Bryan Clay before this book but I admire how many times (and this may be true with many athletes) in not quitting during competition. I especially liked the times when he was in the very hardest parts of his competition and he “turned it over to God” in that he was going to do his best and God would do the rest.
Having come from a rough childhood, I was amazed that little by little God helped turn Clay’s heart into something that could work for something more. Though he started doing events and partying without God’s help, eventually he realized that God had a higher plan. I loved that even though Clay turned his life over to God in his athletic competitions, he didn’t ever stop preparing or planning himself. I find this to be true in many things in my life.
I also enjoyed how his wife Sarah made such an impression on him to be and do good, as well as his children once he had children. It was especially tender the note he got from his little boy that “he runs really fast”. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a little help in moving their life higher.
Not knowing much about the decathlon, those parts were also very interesting.
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Review 3 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Grab this!

Date:November 10, 2012
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Archie Isib
Location:Ph
Age:18-24
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Bryan used his sport and his faith to fuel each other. He was able to set his priorities and apply lessons from his physical training to his spiritual training. You would love Brian if you read this! I think "Redemption" will apply to you. It's a story of transformation from a bad past to mediocre to amazing future. Bryan Clay's story is one of hope and seemingly impossible prayers being answered. It doesn't matter actually what kinda sports you belong to, like in my case I love skate board, this book is a great tool for to use my passion to serve and honor God!
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Review 4 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Redemption

Date:July 19, 2012
Customer Avatar
Muffy
Location:Chillicothe, Oh
Age:45-54
Gender:female
As I have stated many times....biographies are my favorites! This didn't let me down.
Redemption is the story of Bryan Clay. A rebellious child whose parents divorce made him a bitter, challenged child. His mother never stopped praying for him no matter how rebellious he was. She was told by a counselor to put him in a sports program to keep him out of jail so a local track club was her only option.
Little did she know that her decision would lead to two Olympic medals.
Bryans life was a constant rebellion against God. His story and how he learned to surrender not only to God but to his coaches, family members and friends is an incredible and beautiful story.
Being the mother of a rebellious teen, I could't put this book down. It also gave me hope that God does answer the prayers of a praying mother and cares about those hard to handle teenagers.
I am giving this review in exchange for this book through Booksneeze. I am no way required to give it a good review.
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Review 5 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

LOVED IT

Date:July 17, 2012
Customer Avatar
LVictorino
Age:Under 18
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Have you ever run so hard you thought you might pass out? Ever heard of the 100 meter-dash? Usually run in 12 seconds or less (the world record being 9.58 seconds), the 100 meter is just the first of ten grueling events that make up the decathlon.
Enter Bryan Clay, the Olympic 2004 silver and 2008 gold decathlete.
If you knew Bryan when he was growing up in Hawaii or attending college in California, you wouldn’t think twice about his chances of medaling in the Olympics someday – it would be a hands-down no way. Getting in fights for no reason, failing in school, a dysfunctional family life, partying and getting wasted – sure, the kid had athletic ability, but there was no way he would ever rise to the top with that type of lifestyle. His problems had problems.
Enter Jesus Christ, specialist in hope, and Redeemer of souls since, well, the beginning of time.
Redemption is an awesome story of one man’s struggle to find God and his life’s purpose. While Bryan Clay had some raw athletic talent, he wasn’t getting anywhere without a purpose. When he finally makes the decision to put God first in everything, even sports, the results are out of this world.
My favorite scene from the book takes place when Bryan was competing at the 2008 Beijing Games, struggling to finish and fighting off exhaustion and injuries. Choosing to rely on God instead of human effort, Bryan says, “God doesn’t expect me to be perfect, He expects me to give my best, and He’ll make it good enough.”
I recommend this book to anyone who needs a change or some encouragement, whether they are a Christian or not. There is something is this book for everyone; we can all relate to a story about finding our calling, and the rough path to get there. The thing about Redemption is that Bryan Clay’s search doesn’t just end in a superficial vocation; it ends in finding God’s salvation, love, and peace. Watch as he journeys from simple beginnings and becomes the humble, God-shaped role model we all desire to look up to.
Written as an autobiography but read almost novel-like, Redemption includes a lot of technical decathlon specs, and insight into the life of someone who has been on both sides of the track. Lost, and now found. Redeemed.
. . . . . . . . . .
Disclosure in accordance with FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: I received this book free from the publisher through BookSneeze and was not required to write a positive review; all opinions expressed are mine.
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Review 6 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The redemption of Bryan Clay is an inspiring story

Date:July 13, 2012
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
When you hear a Christian athlete has written a book, it takes only seconds for the stereotypical story to form: a star athlete with lots of ego and a praying grandmother finally finds God and then wins big.
While there are some similarities in Bryan Clay's new book, "Redemption" (published by Thomas Nelson and written with Joel Kilpatrick) there are some refreshing and interesting differences.
Yes, Bryan Clay is a great athlete. Being a two-time Olympic medal winner of the decathlon would put his standing as one of the greatest athletes in the world. But his issue wasn't so much his ego as it was a rebellious spirit, and it was his mother who was his constant prayer warrior.
Although Clay grew up in Hawaii, life was not a paradise. Things got difficult for Clay early. His parents fought often and loudly, filling the family with strife. The rocky marriage ending in divorce didn't bring peace, but simply added fuel to Clay's rebellious ways. His mother was advised to get Clay into sports as a means of heading off a potential ugly future for him, but that didn't happen immediately.
The book goes on to tell a very real story of a man who slowly found a calling and a place for himself in sports. He didn't suddenly think he would be a great athlete, or consider himself the best on the track. It's not a story of a man who started with a boyish dream of being an Olympic champion, but rather the story of a man who learned how to push through multiple times of nearly throwing in the towel when things got tough.
But he didn't.
And yes, that is where God comes in.
That's because, through all his struggles, Clay heard the call of God and answered. His redemption by Jesus Christ changed his life. Clay didn't become a champion by squeezing a little room for God into his life, He became a champion after making God the priority of his life, followed by family, and then his sports career.
And his greatest victory of all? Was it the silver medal of the 2004 Olympics? Or finally getting gold in the 2008 Olympics? Neither. It was his redemption, and the transformation that brought.
"Redemption" is more than the telling of the forging of a champion; it's the tell of the forging of a disciple. Putting the two together offers insight and inspiration to anyone looking for an enjoyable new summer read.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 7 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Athletes everywhere: read it!

Date:July 7, 2012
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Eunice
Location:Iona Station, ON
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Do you believe God is sovereign? Bryan Clay does, and his life is a testimony to that fact. In Redemption, Bryan tells of his journey from a rebellious kid who was almost always in some kind of trouble to a world-class athlete, with Olympic medals – gold and silver - in the decathlon. This was not an easy path: there were ups and downs, unexpected victories, and devastating defeats. His mother never doubted that God had an amazing plan for her son’s life; her prayers for him, and confidence that the plan would be fulfilled, were at times an irritant, and at other times a tremendous encouragement. We learn about “stones of remembrance”: remarkable events that worked together to put and keep Bryan Clay on a path he would not have chosen, and to bring him to his own personal faith in God. Included is the story of the key experience that revolutionized his life, changing him from a man with an intermittent awareness of God to whole-hearted commitment to a life lived for Him.
Redemption provides well-drawn parallels between the benefits of physical discipline, and the even greater benefits of spiritual discipline. It should inspire each and every reader to put consistent effort into using the gifts and abilities which God has given us to bring Him glory; to do what He calls and equips us to do … and leave the results to him.
I greatly enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it – particularly to those who enjoy physical activity, and testing personal limits.
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Review 8 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

for athletes only

Date:July 3, 2012
Customer Avatar
junnelaranas
Age:18-24
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This book had me so enthralled that I wanted to know every detail of him. I would (and will) recommend this book to anyone that loves sports, has faith that everything happens for a reason, has suffered, and has persevered and the Mets hold a special place in my heart and even more. The book is organized in such a way that you won't get bogged down in the details of a single game or season. In fact, it is Dickey's off-the-field tales that I found most interesting. To me, the book is more about the very interesting life of a personThat may not be true, but it's obvious that one of His humble servants does wear one, at least for now. I, for one, am grateful that he does. God bless. For anyone who has ever experienced a feeling of "not good enough" or fearful about what will happen to them at work or at home should definitely read this book. All in all, it is probably the most candid book I have ever read, and will recommend to everyone.
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Review 9 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

True Redemption

Date:June 30, 2012
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kelisni
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Redemption is the true story of Bryan Clay who was called the world's greatest athlete at the age of 28. Clay tells the story of how he came to win the gold medal in the decathlon in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics. His story truly is one of redemption.
Here is the book's description:
Redemption tells the story of Bryan Clay, winner of the 2008 Olympic gold medal and the 2004 Olympic silver medal in the decathlon. By the grace of God, Bryan went from being a fist-fighting, drug-using, presuicidal kid in Hawaii to world champion in the toughest Olympic sport. His secret? A dramatically rediscovered faith and his mother’s relentless prayers.
Redemption goes beyond standard sports memoirs, giving a clear storyline of an athlete’s misspent youth, his desperate Christian conversion at a time of utter personal defeat, and his mother’s fervent prayers that helped transform him into a top athlete, family man, and loving father. Bryan’s story will inspire mothers, fathers, and young readers alike as they experience the rise of a champion from obscurity and failure to the pinnacle of athletic achievement.
I love biographies, but love autobiographies even more. There is something about someone's life who wants everything to point to Christ, even in the midst of all the "bad" things that happened. Clay is a great example of an athlete who isn't afraid to let the world know that he is a Christian and want that means to him. He gives glory to God even when things aren't going his way. I read this book in 3 nights. I highly recommend you go get it......go!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for review.
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Review 10 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Redeemed Life

Date:June 18, 2012
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jnjdet
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This is a story of Bryan's life and how he was redeemed out of a life of anger and violence and through the encouragement of some key people in his life was able to channel that energy into something positive. Bryan became a great track and field athlete in high school and continued on through college and competed on all the various levels including winning a gold medal at the 08 Olympics. I appreciated Bryan's insight at how he was doing everything for himself and to relieve the anger he felt inside but as he grew and through many people praying for him he came to trust God and compete for His glory instead of His own. I thought this was a very inspiring story and I can see how his life story could definitely help influence teens in a very positive way. I think it's wonderful that Bryan has a passion to help youth who come from broken homes just like he did. All in all, I say this is an inspiring story to read.
I received this book free from booksneeze.com in exchange for my review.
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Review 11 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An inspirational story of redemption

Date:June 17, 2012
Customer Avatar
Emily
Location:Cincinnati, OH
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Redemption" is the autobiography of Bryan Clay, an American decathlon Olympic athlete. Bryan had a challenging childhood, dealing with his parents divorce and other struggles. He turned into a rebellious teenager who often had trouble dealing with his anger and frustration, until he became involved in track and field. He discovered a talent for the decathlon, despite not having the “ideal” body type for it, and attended college on an athletics scholarship. But he was often tempted by the partying lifestyle and struggled in his relationships. It wasn’t until he found Christ and devoted his life to Him, including his athletic pursuits, that he found happiness and even greater success on the track.
As a diehard fan of the Olympics, I enjoyed learning more about the training the decathlon entails, as well as Bryan’s Olympic experiences. It was inspiring to read how Bryan has incorporated his faith into his job as an athlete. And I found his wife’s dedication to Bryan and his career moving. As the book went on, the writing became slow and repetitive, but I’d still recommend this book to any Olympic fans.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Review 12 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An Olympic Champion Who Didn't Believe He'd Win

Date:May 30, 2012
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samcivy
Location:Eugene, OR
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Redemption
A Rebellious Spirit, A Praying Mother, and The Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Bryan Clay ©2012 with Joel Kilpatrick
Thomas Nelson Publishers
ISBN 978-0-8499-4827-5
249 pp. Hdbk.
Bryan Clay’s inspirational story starts with an angry kid who always fought with classmates and peers. He never tried to succeed in school and was headed for disaster physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.
When his parents divorced he missed his Dad greatly. His mother remarried and became a Christian, but she and Bryan’s step dad quarreled often, leaving Bryan even more upset. He resented his mother’s prayers, especially her saying for years that God had told her Bryan would win an Olympic Gold Medal.
Even after sports helped him channel his anger, Bryan didn’t believe his mother. At the Olympics in Beijing in 2008, he didn’t really believe her. But he felt God speak to him, that he should do his best and leave the results to God.
Now, this young man credits God often and easily with all he’s accomplished. His intense discipline in training for the decathlon carries over to his discipline in seeking God.
Bryan has won multiple major awards, including the silver medal at the Olympics in 2004 as well as the 2008 gold. In a few weeks (June 21, 2012, etc.) he’ll try for an unprecedented third gold medal at the Olympics. He knows the results of his preparation and performance is in God’s hands, however.
An amazing story that challenges anyone to become more than they expect.
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Review 13 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great Book

Date:May 11, 2012
Customer Avatar
jroc
Location:tabusintac
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The path to Olympic Gold is not on a paved, even path. It involves struggle, blood, tears and having a life changing experience with God.
Redemption follows the path of 2008 Gold Olympian Athelete Bryan Clay. Although Ghost Written by Joel Kilpatrick, Clay’s voice comes through the book.
I’m not a sports following person, unless it’s Hockey, so I had not heard of Bryan Clay before. I entered the book tentatively expecting it to be a story of how he struggled to get into physical shape and what he gave up in order to reach the Olympic Gold.
I was not expecting to read the story of a man who struggled for most of his life with issues of faith. Bryan came from a troubled household and spent most of his young life in and out of trouble in school. He turned to fighting and alcohol to deal with his feelings. But that wasn’t the life that God had planned for Bryan.
As Bryan aged he began to discover the role that God has played in Bryan’s life, pushing him and answering prayers in unexpected ways.
This book is way more than the journey to Olympic Gold it is also the journey to faith. I could not put this book down, Bryan’s story is entralling. Now with the Olympic’s coming up again, I will look forward to seeing Bryan on the worldwide stage, now that I know some of his story.
If you have struggled with your faith, not knowing what direction to take in your life this book is for you.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 14 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An Olympic Champion's Story of Life Change

Date:May 9, 2012
Customer Avatar
Greg
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The reigning Olympic decathlon champion, Bryan Clay, has released an autobiography in the run-up to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games to be held in London, England.
Clay is quite honest in the difficulties he experienced in his early life: his parents divorce, a physical altercation with his stepfather (whom he now has a solid relationship with), his alcohol abuse, his partying lifestyle.
The book goes to great lengths to recognize the people who have positively impacted Clay. The list of positive influences includes his mother who consistently prayed for him, a childhood teacher, his high school coach, his collegiate coaches at Azusa Pacific (who remain his coaches today).
But Clay's story is one of redemption. Upon meeting his now wife, he was encouraged to make a significant life change. But it was only when Clay gave his life to Christ that he was truly released from the life of rebellion he had been living.
While there is ample material chronicling Clay's decathlon exploits and track meet history (including a chapter about the 2008 Olympic Game experience), it's obvious that Clay wants to use this book to encourage men to be better husbands and fathers.
Clay's openness and honesty make this a good read. I'll be rooting for Clay in this summer's Olympic Games.
I reviewed this book in conjunction with Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program, was not compensated for this review and the opinions expressed are solely mine.
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Review 15 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great biography!

Date:May 3, 2012
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
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Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I love reading books about Olympic athletes. Their dedication to the sport amazes me and usually their stories are quite inspiring. Many have overcome problems, addictions, and doubts to become some of the top leaders in their sport. Another reason I like these type of books so much is because I get to know the athlete before the Olympics start. Once I see them on tv, I feel like I know them and their story and want them to win even more!
Redemption was such a wonderful story of Bryan Clay who is an Olympic champion decathlete. Bryan didn't live an easy life as he was growing up. He grew up as way too many people have, experiencing things that little kids shouldn't have to experience. These circumstances led him to behaviors that classified him as an at-risk teen who stayed in trouble and was known for rebelling.
Only one thing could possibly keep Bryan out of trouble and that was track and field. He worked hard at it and it became a way for him to seek God and God was able to teach him many lessons. His mother got to see her prayers answered when he surrendered it all to Christ and began living for Him.
This book is honest and Bryan doesn't shy away from the things that he has seen or been a part of while growing up. I'm glad he doesn't. I'm glad he's honest because I think that so many people need to hear his story. It's definitely one I'm planning to share with my at-risk youth that I work with.
_____________________
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 16 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

an inspiring read

Date:May 3, 2012
Customer Avatar
Linda
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Redemption - Bryan Clay with Joel Kilpatrick
The inspiring and gritty story of the World's Greatest Athlete
About the Book:
‘Redemption’ tells the story of Bryan Clay, winner of the 2008 Olympic gold medal and the 2004 Olympic silver medal in the decathlon. By the grace of God, Bryan went from being a fist-fighting, drug-using, pre-suicidal kid in Hawaii to world champion in the toughest Olympic sport. His secret is a dramatically rediscovered faith and his mother’s relentless prayers.
‘Redemption’ goes beyond standard sports memoirs; giving a clear storyline of an athlete’s misspent youth, his desperate Christian conversion at a time of utter personal defeat, and his mother’s fervent prayers that helped transform him into a top athlete, family man, and loving father. Bryan’s story will inspire mothers, fathers, and young readers alike as they experience the rise of a champion from obscurity and failure to the pinnacle of athletic achievement.
My Review:
Definitely timely to get this book out now, because the world will be watching Bryan, at the age of 32, defend his gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012.
It was extremely sad to read about Bryan’s struggle through early childhood and adolescence. It seemed the more he denied his Christian upbringing and all that stood for, the more God found ways to lead him closer to him. However, it was inspiring to watch the transformation when, finally, after reaching rock bottom he gave everything over to God; his family, his career and all the hurts that he had allowed to turn him into a bitter person. Only then, with a new and deeper purpose in life, ‘to compete for the joy of serving God’ and ‘for the benefit of my family and the kids who will be blessed through my foundation’, did he find peace of mind.
As much as I enjoyed learning about the sport of decathlon and Bryan’s road to two Olympics, I sometimes found there were too many details, which I unfortunately couldn’t skim through, as I had a review to write. Other than that, this is a worthwhile and inspirational read, especially for sports enthusiasts.
In exchange for an honest review, booksneeze.com provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.
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Review 17 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great story! Loved it!

Date:May 2, 2012
Customer Avatar
LisaH
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
“Redemption” by Bryan Clay is a fantastic book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this very honest and powerful autobiography on an Olympic champion decathlete.
Bryan Clay had a rocky childhood, as he was hurt by family struggles and divorce. This led to him being a rebellious, at-risk youth who was often in trouble. He eventually found an outlet as a track and field athlete, but continued to resist turning everything over to God. Eventually he surrendered his whole life over to Christ and continued on the road to becoming one of the most elite athletes in the world.
I found Clay’s story fascinating. It was neat to read how God wooed him throughout his childhood and young adulthood. It was encouraging to see how God answered his mother’s faithful prayers. It was powerful to get such a deep look into a sincerely devoted and intentional man and athlete. And it was intriguing to learn the ins and outs of the decathalon as a sport.
I highly recommend this book. If you are not an athlete, you may find the great details of Clay’s sport a little too much, but I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the decathalon as well. The main message of the book, though, is redemption, dedication, and intentionality. And who can’t learn from those lessons?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 18 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:April 30, 2012
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DUCKgirl
Age:25-34
Gender:female
REDEMPTION
Redemption
A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
By Bryan Clay, with Joel Kilpatrick
The inspiring and gritty story of the World's Greatest Athlete
Redemption tells the story of Bryan Clay, winner of the 2008 Olympic gold medal and the 2004 Olympic silver medal in the decathlon. By the grace of God, Bryan went from being a fist-fighting, drug-using, presuicidal kid in Hawaii to world champion in the toughest Olympic sport. His secret? A dramatically rediscovered faith and his mother’s relentless prayers.
Redemption goes beyond standard sports memoirs, giving a clear storyline of an athlete’s misspent youth, his desperate Christian conversion at a time of utter personal defeat, and his mother’s fervent prayers that helped transform him into a top athlete, family man, and loving father. Bryan’s story will inspire mothers, fathers, and young readers alike as they experience the rise of a champion from obscurity and failure to the pinnacle of athletic achievement.
The world will be watching Bryan, at the age of 32, defend his gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012.
**This is a very honest book. I loved it. i am a track athlete myself and I loved it. I love how he talked about his sports and his faith. It was great.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 19 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Encouraging

Date:April 23, 2012
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Adoption Mama
Location:Tampa, Florida
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I saw the title of the latest book I have read and knew I needed to read it. Bad. I needed to read first hand a story of redemption.
Bryan Clay, the author of Redemption, presents his testimony in easy to read format, yet proclaims the amazing Redeemer that he encountered in a powerful way. Once a rebel, seeking only his own interests, Mr. Clay recounts this journey with candidness and truth. This is a story of how the gifts and talents that God gives a person joins with the Word of God to bring forth salvation.
What is exciting for the reader as well, is the road he takes you on to learn about the Olympics, this being an Olympic year. Mr. Clay is a world-renown dicathlon athlete. God gave him an amazing gift, and it is awesome to see someone use it for the glory of God.
As a child he went through all the turmoil that many children do who end up in this state: drugs, promiscuity, alcohol and partying, just to name a few. But in the end, as a result of God transforming his life, he becomes a Godly husband and Father.
Praise to our Creator who makes all things new!
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Review 20 for Redemption: A Rebellious Spirit, a Praying Mother, and the Unlikely Path to Olympic Gold
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A great example

Date:April 19, 2012
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Diane Kinney
Location:Bridgeport, WV
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
With brutal honestly and incredible candor, Bryan Clay tells his story of his unlikely career as a world class decathlete.
You know from the very beginning that Bryan wins gold at the 2008 Olympics so there is no surprise ending. What the reader does not know is the hard fought path Bryan took to get there. He was an unlikely decathlete. He did not grow up competing in track and field. He had a tough upbringing and a bad attitude. Only after trial and error and more trial and error, did Bryan commit to becoming an athlete who could compete at the national and international levels.
The real hero of this story is Bryan's mother who faithfully prayed for her son. She had hope when he did not. She had faith as small as a mustard seed, but it was more than enough.
The one take away I got from this book was the lesson Bryan learned while competing. God did not expect him to be perfect, only to try his best. That is exactly what I try to teach my children, and even remind myself when I think I am suppose to be perfect. A decathlon is a great metaphor for life. There are a lot of events that require many strengths and skills. It takes hard work, but not perfection. It requires the best we have without dwelling on past failures. Your best really is enough when you give it to God.
Thomas Nelson provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my review which I freely give.
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