Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Great Eight by Scott Hamilton

Boy, this is a tough one. I recently finished reading this book – finally. I love figure skating, and I really enjoy Scott Hamilton as a performer, so I figured that I would love this book. It truly pains me to say this, but I didn’t. I found I had to force myself to finish it.

The book is about Scott’s journey and the many difficulties he’s been through, and truly, he has overcome a lot of obstacles throughout his life. He’s dealt with a childhood illness that nearly killed him, testicular cancer and a brain tumor, to name a few. It focuses on maintaining happiness despite our circumstances and there are many fantastic nuggets of truth and encouragement contained in it.

However… For me, it was not an easy read. It seemed repetitive and went in circles a lot. And maybe that was deliberate, because he stresses the importance of being able to do a great figure eight, to be able to do the perfect circle over and over. Unfortunately, it just didn’t hold my interest.

It does provide a positive message, and certainly Scott Hamilton is an inspiration. He offers us his “Great Eight” steps to being happy and shares some wonderful words of wisdom. But honestly, I think it could have been done in about a quarter of the pages. Though I wasn’t thrilled with the book, I still admire Scott and his achievements. As much as I’d like to, I just can’t recommend this book. Sorry, Scott.


The Great Eight
by Scott Hamilton
with Ken Baker

Beloved Olympic skater shares his secrets to happiness on and off the ice.

From Gold Medalist to cancer and brain tumor survivor, Scott Hamilton shares his eight secrets to finding happiness in the face of a life filled with challenges, difficulties, and career-canceling odds.

With never-been-told, behind-the-scenes stories from the skating world, personal challenges including testicular cancer and a brain tumor, as well as divine miracles, Olympic Gold Medal figure skater Scott Hamilton shares the secrets to his lifelong journey to find the silver (and gold) lining in the clouds of life. His life principles, fashioned into eight secrets that begin with the rote of learning to skate the figure 8, are the keys. Scott says, "Skating taught me how to be happy. I have always kept these eight as my own private, personal secrets that I practiced daily with repetition, focus, and discipline. Now I want to share them with the world."


  1. Thanks for the review!

    Sadly, even the most inspiring story can be hard to read if it isn't well done.

    Just an inspiration to keep working on writing craft so no one can say that about our words, right?