Review of “The Great Eight: How to Be Happy (even when you have every reason to be miserable)” by Scott Hamilton with Ken Baker

Scott Hamilton book

I’m a Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger and chose this book for my first review. I love ice skating and have loved watching Scott Hamilton skate for years, so I was really excited to see that I could choose a book that he has written and was anxious to dig in and read!

In the book, Scott tells of the challenges he faced as a child and and as an adult and how he has remained to be happy even though his circumstances haven’t always been ideal. Though he was a very sickly child, Scott tells how ice skating helped him build his confidence and helped his health in a miraculous way. He learned discipline through his training partly by skating figure 8’s over and over as this builds the foundational skills for ice skaters. The  practicing of this technique is what he attributes to winning his olympic gold metal as well as the basis for the title of his book.

He also describes his challenges as an adult with being terminated from Ice Capades and getting cancer. Though he has faced several life-altering challenges, he has remained positive and describes 8 ways in which he maintains his superior attitude. He gives examples how he has applied these techniques throughout his own life as well as using examples from other skaters.

Though I highly respect Scott Hamilton and all he has been through, I thought this book was a bit superficial. I believe the book seems to be marketed as a self-help book and I would NOT recommend it as such. I’m glad his strategies of remaining positive and smiling even though the circumstances may be difficult work for him, but it seems like he tends to gloss over and simplify many of the events as well as how he managed each of them. The exception to this is his how he dealt with IMG (sports management company). He does go into detail about confrontation and how he worked out the relationship with Bob Kain.

For me, what I thought would be an exciting book that I was really looking forward to, turned out to be a book in which I was disappointed and won’t be recommending very often.

For more information on the book check out the Thomas Nelson website:

http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=0785228942

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