234 x 15 x 153 mm
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Dr Bridie O’Donnell is the definition of a unique Australian sporting hero. A medical doctor who spent her 20s pursuing sideline sporting careers in rowing and Ironman triathlon, it wasn’t until she reached her mid-30s that O’Donnell found her true calling in the ranks of professional cyclists.
Intensely driven and a true believer that sporting greatness was still possible—at a time of life when most of us have long given up on our dreams—O’Donnell became a world record-breaker in 2016, when she set a new mark in women’s UCI Hour Record book.
Life and Death: a cycling memoir, is the story of that triumph. It is also the tale of the backbreaking hard work it took to get there—the audacity of O’Donnell’s late arrival in a brutally tough sport, the physical grind of training and the mind games of team selection, the rejections, the disappointments, the sorrows and the personal upheavals it took for Bridie O’Donnell to finally take her bow as a world-beater.
Life and Death will inspire both women and men who’ve given up on their sporting ambitions. It also gives a warts-and-all account of the real lives of professional cyclists. Pedalling through the picturesque alpine regions of Italy, barked at by sadistic and uncaring team managers, and persevering when most would have thrown in the towel, O’Donnell provides an unflinching portrait of the life of an Australian woman in the professional peloton.
A trailblazing athlete and doctor, Bridie O’Donnell is now the head of Victoria’s newly-established Office for Women in Sport, and a regular guest on the Network Ten television show The Project—a public profile that makes her a leading Australian voice on women’s sport and health issues. Upon its release, O’Donnell will be promoting Life and Death in a range of mainstream media outlets.