by Ron Rapoport
"Why wait for the Olympics? The year of Marion Jones starts today." --ESPN magazine, March 2000
She has been called "the next great sports superstar." She's a world champion sprinter and an NCAA-champion basketball player. She has been considered the next great hope for American track and field since she was fourteen. At sixteen, she made the U.S. Olympic team. Nike has created a shoe for her, Annie Leibovitz has photographed her, and the world is watching to see if she'll be the first person ever to win five gold medals in track at the Olympics.
Marion Jones is the fastest woman in the world, but where did she come from and where is she going?
Ron Rapoport's biography of the woman the New York Times called "the most prominent track athlete on the planet" is a remarkable profile of a woman not at the end of her athletic career, but at the beginning. It's the story of a season at the highest level of sport, and of the triumph and tragedy of Jones's quest to win four gold medals at the 1999 World Championships, the gateway to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Marion's story is also that of an American girl born into a society just beginning to make room for women on its playing fields. She excelled in baseball, basketball, gymnastics, and soccer--every sport she tried. She led her college basketball team to a national championship. But it was running she loved, and she could run faster than anyone.
Rapoport follows Jones from meet to meet during outdoor track season, a witness to her domination. With unprecedented access to Jones, her colleagues, family, friends, and foes, Rapoport artfully presents the stories of this world-class athlete whose quest began as a young girl's dream.
Paperback: 273 pages