“Wheelchairs, Perjury and the London Marathon” by Tim Marshall
Wheelchair sports, history, running, politics
March 8, 2018
4 of 5 stars (very good)
The story of how Tim Marshall was able to secure participation rights for wheelchair athletes in the London Marathon is told in this first-hand account that is a quick and informative read about the struggles that these athletes faced in order to be able to complete in world class events.
With the assistance of many people, including journalists, athletes and Parliament, Marshall kept on pushing to achieve this dream. His tenacity paid off as in 1983, the race was open to all, including wheelchair participants. The story of the journey to get there is what makes this book worth the time to read. If one is looking to find out a lot of information about the event or running itself, that won’t be found here.
Instead, the reader will be treated to a story of failure, of ignorance and bigotry and finally of achievement. The obstacles Marshall faced in not only his own country but also in the United States. The stories about the lack of consideration by organizers of the New York City Marathon for wheelchair athletes is startling, even for the standards of the 1980’s. Particularly telling was Marshall’s account of organizers including climbing curbs and short flights of stairs on the original route – taken as a slap in the face to these athletes.
He didn’t fare much better back in England, but as I mentioned earlier, this is a story of perseverance and tenacity. Marshall would not give up the fight and his achievement here outshines any victory on the road. If a reader wants to pick up an inspiring story about an athlete, this is one that should be added.
I wish to thank Clink Street Publishing for providing a copy of the book via Authoright in exchange for an honest review.
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