Monday, February 2, 2009

Book Review: The Great Eight

Scott Hamilton is one of my favorite athletes. In my prime "figure skating fan" years- he was the highlight of every pro show and the infamous "stars on ice" tour. How much I loved his energetic programs! I remember when he was diagnosed with his initial cancer and was saddened by his more recent brain cancer. I have read his autobiography, so I was intrigued by his now apparent conversion to Christianity and learn further insights into his experiences.

The Great Eight: How to be Happy (Even When You Have Every Reason to be Miserable) was a very quick read. Written in a simple, conversation style makes you feel as you were sharing a table at a local coffee shop with Scott, sipping on a mocha while he shares his heart. While simple in its expression, Scott's writing and thoughts are incredibly honest, transparent, and admirable. Sharing stories from his past (childhood, world and olympic skating, and pro career) are lessons he has learned along the way. I believe that Scott has every reason to be miserable, but he has found true happiness- Joy in Jesus Christ. His keys to happiness are written into memorable soundbytes like "Think Positive...and Smile like Krisit Yamaguchi" and "Trust your Almighty Coach".

I would recommend this book to most people looking for a quick, uplifiting read. Don't expect to come away with a life-changing set of thoughts and skills. Almost every point has a figure skating slant to it- so if you are no fan of the sport- this probably is not the book for you! Scott's points are right on- and most of them could be Biblically based- but the book itself lacks the depth to make the connections.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Great Eight and pray that Scott will use his popularity and influence to be a shining light for Christ in whatever he does and wherever he goes.

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