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Fernhurst Books

Golden Lily by Lijia Xu

Golden Lily by Lijia Xu

The fascinating autobiography from Asia’s first ever dinghy sailing gold medallist. Learning to sail and becoming a full-time athlete at just 10 years old, Lijia Xu was taken away from her parents and enrolled on the gruelling Chinese training regime, a programme meticulously prescribed across all sporting disciplines to catapult the nation’s talented youngsters to international champions. A rare insight into a shocking world of relentless physical training and unquestioning mental compliance, Lijia’s honest and heart-felt account takes you on her journey from physical disabilities and debilitating injuries to learning to think for herself, eventually going on to achieve her dream of becoming an Olympic gold medallist. This is an inspirational story of a young woman’s will to succeed despite all that her background threw at her.

“Lijia Xu is a true sailing champion… an inspiration for sailors, particularly female sailors, around the world. But, as this fascinating autobiography reveals, there is far more to Lily than the medals she has won… Lily was the first ever Asian dinghy gold medallist. To achieve this, she had to supplement the Chinese emphasis on relentless training with help from outside China to really hone her sailing skills. On top of this, she has to overcome inherited physical frailties and career threatening injuries. Golden Lily is an enthralling account of Lily’s life, whilst also being a fascinating eye-opener into the Chinese sports ‘machine’, where people like Lily become professional sportspeople at the age of 10, shedding light on the reality of growing up as a state sponsored child athlete… I have nothing but respect for Lily. I commend this book to anyone interested in sailing, sport or the differences between east and west.” – Sir Ben Ainslie

Also available as an eBook.

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