Olympian and recent Order of Canada recipient Donovan Bailey will publish his memoir in the summer of 2023.
Canadian champion sprinter, once known as “the world’s fastest man” for his gold medals at the World Championships and the Summer Olympics in the mid-1990s, including winning the 100 meters with a record time of 9, 84 Seconds at 1996 Games – Writes an as-yet untitled book with Sportsnet.ca senior writer David Singh.
It will be published by Random House Canada.
While Bailey has been recognized as a legendary athlete and leader in Canada’s Jamaican community, he has also faced criticism during his ascent in Canadian athletics for his focus and confidence. He steadfastly fought stereotypes and spoke out against injustice, even when it was controversial.
Listen | Donovan Bailey in The Sunday Magazine:
Sunday Journal25:32Donovan Bailey looks back on Olympic gold 25 years later
Bailey, who moved to Canada from Jamaica in 1981, began competing in the sprint nearly a decade later. After earning a degree in economics, he entered his first major international competition at the 1995 World Championships where he won gold medals in the 100m and 4×100 relay.
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He went on to win gold in the same events at the 1996 Olympics and defeated American sprinter Michael Johnson in the unofficial sell-out 150m the following year at Toronto’s SkyDome, establishing a reputation for over a decade as the world’s fastest man.
Even before he excelled in athletics, Bailey was successfully coached by his father, a real estate investor. Bailey, who bought and owned 11 properties at the age of 21, continued to apply this view in his life in and out of the sport. In his memoir, he will share touching stories from his career as well as the thoughts of his parents, coaches and others who helped him along the way.
“People often ask me what the secret to my success is,” Bailey said in a Penguin Random House Canada press release. “What may surprise my critics is how much of this success I attribute to my family and coaches who taught me how to do things right on and off the track. Now I want to share with others the lessons that have enabled me to become a champion – whether they apply it to sports, business, or any other aspect of life – so that they, too, can win without apology.”
Bailey was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in June 2022. A two-time member of Canada’s Hall of Fame, Bailey was inducted as an individual in 2004 and as a member of the 1996 relay. team in 2008. In 1996, he was presented with the Lou Marsh Trophy, which is given annually to Canada’s top athlete.
After retiring from competition, he worked as a sportscaster and entrepreneur, and also advocated for a novel by Canadian writer Esi Edugyan. Half-breed blues on the Canada reads 2014.
“I am very pleased to publish Donovan’s story, written in his own words,” said Sue Curuvilla, publisher of Random House Canada.
“Most of us will never stand on a podium in the international arena. However, we hope that readers will be inspired by Donovan’s journey, the conviction and tenacity to win, applied to their own lives.”
watch | Donovan Bailey on CBC Sports: