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Against the backdrop of the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan, the 1980 Moscow Olympics was always going to be political.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser wanted Australia’s Olympic athletes to boycott the Games, in line with the USA, but many of the athletes had a different view.

Athletes were the victims of the politics - and most of them female.

According to Ford, who was Australia’s first and founding member of the International Olympic Committee's Athletes Commission, that struggle is far from over.

In Turning the Tide, 800 metres Swimming Gold Medal winner, Michelle Ford, charts the highs and lows from the beaches of Sydney as a young girl with a dream, to the dizzy heights of Olympic swimming gold against the odds of Cold-War politics spilling into sport like poison.

Olympic boycotts, death threats, wilful blindness and misogyny coincided with the first and most ferocious, systematic, state-sponsored doping the world has ever witnessed.

As Paris prepares to host the 2024 Olympics, 100 years after the Modern Olympics founding father Pierre de Coubertin declared that “Women have one task, that of the role of crowning the winner with garlands”, an indifference to female athletes lives on. 

In this roller-coaster account of courage and resilience in the Olympic realm, Turning the Tide is a manifesto for change.

Find the Book Club Notes here.

More Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • Published:  March 2024
  • ISBN:  978-1-925914-92-4
  • ISBN: 978-1-925914-93-1 (ePub)
  • Weight: 0.4kg
  • Size:  234x156mm
  • Pages:  266 including 16 pages of images
  • Imprint: Fair Play Publishing

About the Author

Michelle Ford-Eriksson MBE from Sydney, Australia was an Olympic gold and bronze medallist in swimming in 1980, and dual world record holder. She is a University of Southern California graduate with a master’s degree in Sports Psychology and a bachelor’s degree in business communication. She has held directorships of the Australian Sports Commission, Australian Sports Foundation, and Swimming Australia.

Craig Lord is a journalist with The Times and Sunday Times in the UK with three decades of experience as a swimming journalist.

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Regular price $34.99
Regular price Sale price $34.99