- Biography of the Year – Shortlisted
In the summer of 1952 Emil Zátopek became the king of the running world with an unprecedented distance treble at the Olympic Games in Helsinki. Together with his wife Dana, who won another gold medal in the javelin, they were the embodiment of sporting romance. Yet in 1968 this affable but eccentric Czech solider was betrayed by his Communist paymasters and cast out into wilderness. Hidden from world view, monitored by the secret police and forced to live in mining country, he became the invisible hero.
Endurance documents the remarkable rise, fall and rehabilitation of a man voted the ‘greatest runner of all time’. It is also the story of a golden age of sport played out against a backdrop of Cold War politics and paranoia. From the London Olympics of 1948 to Czech concentration camps, this is an uplifting and harrowing tale of survival.
With unprecedented access to those involved, including Dana herself, in Endurance the award-winning Times author Rick Broadbent has written both a wonderful love story and a landmark tale of hope and strength in the face of crushing opposition.