Nicholas A. Hopping was hired by the American Olympic Committee for the training of Olympic Wrestlers as a journalism intern for the 2004 Olympics. He lived at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs; and he followed the wrestlers to their victory or defeat. Author Hopping captures the spirit of very American and makes the reader aware of the potential that the oldest, simplest sport like wrestling can make a difference in International Understanding and appreciation for the American contribution to promoting the Spirit of The Champion. Nicholas A. Hopping writes. "He never learned anything until he was tired.so he knew it, he knew it all too well, he knew what the moment called for, he knew he had to be hard, he had to cut off the part of him that wanted to quit, that wanted to walk away from the match, find a quiet corner in the locker room and be by himself, where no one was cheering for or against him, where no pressure existed, where he didn't have to be hard, where he didn't have to continue fighting, where he didn't have to be a champion.he knew about this place of peace and solitude.but the gladiator decided that he wanted nothing to do with it, that he didn't want to hide out in the locker room, that he did not want to relax and sit in the stands, that he wanted to be a participant and not an observer, that he wanted to be out on the mats, out where the action was, where the juice was, where he could ride the edge of victory and defeat with every twist and turn, with every action and reaction because he had once watched the battle in the arena wondering silently to himself, wondering why he wasn't out there, why the crowd wasn't cheering for him, wondering whether he had it in him, so he took the challenge and now he was on the mats, in the thick of wrestling's eternal inner struggle, and so he knew he had to be hard and not give in to fatigue, not worry about his scorched lungs, because he surely knew that he would rather pass out from exhaustion, fall face-down right here on the mat, than be sitting in those stands silently relieved of never having to face the gauntlet that the mat, the sport presented in himself." ... Read more
Customer Reviews (21)
THE BEST WRESTLING BOOK EVER WRITTEN
"BY FAR THE BEST WRESTLING BOOK I'VE EVER READ!"
-Ben Askren, U.S. Olympian and 2x NCAA Champion
"A MASTERPIECE!"-Jim Beezer, [...]
"BANNED AT FARGO, OUTLAWED BY USA WRESTLING, WITH NO PUBLISHER TO TRUST AND NO ALLY IN THE FIELD...THE SILENT GLADIATORS IS THE LONE WOLF OF WRESTLING BOOKS!" -Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
"AMATEUR WRESTLING'S FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!"
-Rocky Mountain News (Denver, Colorado.)
"THE SILENT GLADIATORS IS TO WRESTLING TO WHAT JON KRAKAEUR IS TO OUTDOOR ADVENTURE...THIS BOOK IS A CREDIT TO OUR GREAT SPORT!"
-Lonnis Nash, Buchanon H.S. Coach (Fresno, California)
"THE SILENT GLADIATORS IS MY FAVORITE BOOK AND I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO READ!" -Mike Tyson, Professional Hitman
"I WRESTLED IOWA IN THE EARLY 80'S, THIS BOOK IS OUTSTANDING!... IT CAPTURES THE ESSENCE OF WRESTLING!"
-Pete Bush, Assumption H.S., (Davenport, Iowa)
"THE SILENT GLADIATORS MAKES WWF LOOK LIKE A BUNCH OF SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMERS WHO ENJOY WEARING SPANDEX...THIS BOOK IS UNTOUCHABLE!"
-Rowdy Rowdy Piper, WWF Legend
"ABSOLUTELY ADDICTING TO READ!"
-Steve Millward, Bald Eagle H.S. (Pennsylvania)
"THIS BOOK IS GREAT!"
-Bobby DeBerry, Sunnyside H.S. 13x Arizona State Champs
"I TRULY ENJOYED THE BOOK. YOU WERE ABLE TO SHOW THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ROLLAR COASTERS A WRESTLER GOES THROUGH WHEN COMPETING BETTER THAN ANY OTHER BOOK I HAVE READ. ANYONE THAT HAS WRESTLED WILL BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY WITH THIS BOOK...THERE ARE DEFINTELY PASSAGES FROM THE BOOK THAT I WILL SHARE WITH MY FUTURE WRESTLING TEAMS."
-Travis Young, Head Coach Valley High School, West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
"A GREAT READ...I REALLY ENJOYED IT AND WILL GET THE WORD OUT...THANKS FOR SENDING IT MY WAY."
-John Phillips, Irvine, Ca. High School Head Coach
Amazing story of sacrafice
Hopping was able to give us a glimpse into an unknown world of struggle and sacrifice that few of us can imagine. For anyone who has ever participated in any of the amatuer olymic sports should have an immense appriation for the athletes in this book. Hopping as an author does exactly what he needs to do as well. He provides that fly on the wall perspective do help us undrstand he incredible monotonous grind that these guys go through while bringing forward the drama of the Olympic process. I feel that anyone who loves sport, has an appreciation for sacrafice, or is simply interested into delving into a great slice of life story should read this book.
Real Insight into the sacrifice necessary
Nicholas Hopping's The Silent Gladiators provides real and powerful insight into the sacrifice required for an American to pursue the dream of becoming an Olympic wrestler.The author demonstrates how truly thankless this pursuit is for almost all who start down this path and also shows how truly different individuals with different approaches to the sport handle the demands of chasing Olympic gold.The one minor complaint I have with this book is that often there is very little detail provided for the key matches that are described in the book.Many of these bouts can be seen on-line via sites like Youtube and it was difficult at times to watch the videos and feel a strong connection with the narrative in the book.Other than that, I would recommend this book to anyone who has wrestled or has any interest in learning what wrestling is all about.
Great insight, for the TRUE wrestling fan
I have been involved in wrestling since age 8; wrestled at the the HS and collegiate level, coached all levels of wrestling and am currently a HS official and youth wrestling coach....I enjoyed this book very much.It was recommended to me from a former wrestler at the U of Minn who is a successful HS coach.I believe that the book was VERY easy to read.I am not a reader, I have read one other book in the last two years simly because most books can't keep my interest....The Silent Gladiators was a book I couldn't put down, from start to finish.I thought the basis of the book was excellent.I attended the same JUCO as Jamill Kelly, left one year prior to his arrival, and was very familiar to his story and the book told the same story....so its basis of fact was solid.Other post have said it needed more editing or its contraversial...maybe it did need more editing, but i didn't notice, nor do I care, I thought it was very interesting....and as for being contraversial....sometimes the truth needs to be told in order for people to change or look themselves in the mirror....The Silent Gladiators is a good start.I would and HAVE recommended this to ALL of my friends invovled in wrestling.Thank you Nicholas Hopping for your work and courage.....done only as a wrestler could do.Please read and pass on to your friends in wrestling.
Sensational book about the journeys that various members of the 2004 US Olympic Wrestling team took to make the team and reach their ultimate goal of winning a Gold medal.
... Read more