Jason Dorland is no stranger to competition. As a rower and coach, he's seen his share of races won and lost. But after a devastating performance at the 1988 Olympics, Jason was overwhelmed by a sense of failure—and with small wonder. Winning at all costs, whereby the playing field is seen as a battlefield, is pretty much the industry standard when it comes to motivating elite athletes. That philosophy coloured his own coaching style—until he met someone who coped with the loss of her own Olympic dream, and viewed competition itself, in a different way.
An honest, intimate look at the reality of high-level athletics, Chariots and Horses is more than a sports story. In charting his progress from struggling athlete to an inspirational coach driven to instill a healthy competitive spirit in his rowers, Jason Dorland shows how in sports and in life, it's all about the journey.
Jason Dorland has written an insightful and significant book. As in Shakespeare, the wisdom of the book is revealed in the conversations or asides between him and Robyn Meagher. Robyn, an Olympic runner, provides Jason his awakening, teaching the world-class rower to get a grip. To pull together is, really, to pull oneself together. —Ron MacLean, Hockey Night in Canada
“Jason Dorland beat himself up for years after losing his Olympic race and he doesn't want to see others do the same. —Neil Stevens, The Canadian Press
”You don’t have to be a rower to identify with Jason Dorland. You don’t even have to be an Olympian or an elite athlete. If you’ve experienced the challenges of s port competition at any level, you will likely identify with, and be inspired by, his story. . . . His struggle to transform his impressive credentials and experience into a positive legacy so he can coach and mentor young rowers is candid and courageous. Insterspersed with behind-the-scenes look at high-level sport is a love story . . . making the book an engaging read for athletes and coaches of all sports, and particularly relevant in this Olympic year.” —Joan Dixon, Impact Magazine
“Jason Dorland has written a deeply personal and brutally honest account of the highs and lows of growing up within a ‘winning-is-everything’ sport culture. His journey from athlete to Olympian to retiree to coach is intense and fascinating. This transformative story of one man’s struggle to conquer his own demons in order to better the lives of those he teaches is as remarkable as it is inspiring.” —Mark Tewksbury, Olympic Champion, swimming
Dorland gets it. Winning is only one part of the sporting adventure. His captivating story will empower you to use sport as a catalyst for the next generation. —Adam Kreek, Olympic Champion, rowing
“At the risk of being arrested by the cliché police, I consider [Chariots and Horses] to be a ‘must read' for coaches and rowers—especially coaches. —Brad Alan Lewis, Olympic Champion, rowing and author of Assault on Lake Casitas
”[Chariots and Horses] is not a handbook in the art of coaching rowing, but it has many different levels about how to handle failures (yours and others), how to recognise and overcome your demons, and how to inspire and give young people a healthy approach to competing and keeping the spirit high even though they are not the first ones to cross the finish line.” —Göran R. Buckhorn, Hear the Boat Sing blog
“I would encourage anyone who feels the need to own every rowing book like I do, to go out and purchase a copy [of Chariots and Horses] . . . I tore through the first 100 pages without taking a break and only stopped to allow myself to read some other books before I went to bed.” —Eric Lamontagne, Be Smart. Row Hard.
“Not your typical story about a young man finding his way through sport and his Olympic dream. Inspiring.” —Tricia Smith, Olympic rower
“It is a deeply personal account of high-performance athletic competition and the long journey to putting that experience in perspective . . . This is a book that should be read by coaches and competitors regardless of their sport—in fact, it will be valuable for anyone who has to confront the challenge of setting goals, staying motivated and inspiring high-performance athletes to reach their highest potential.” —Justin Longo
“Dorland gives a raw and open account of his experiences as an athlete [and] then his years of torment that ensued when he constantly relived what he perceived as absolute failure.” —WorldRowing.com
“An honest and emotionally raw account of how his life was ambushed by failure. But the story does not end with defeat.” —Cheryl Clock, St. Catharines Standard
“It takes courage to examine the anatomy of a failure and use it as the seed of greatness and fulfilment. [Jason’s story] is not only honourable, but highly inspirational.” —Hayley Wickenheiser, Olympic Champion, women’s hockey