Synopsis:At the age of nineteen Sandy Blythe’s future seemed assured – he had a promising career as an Australian Rules footballer ahead of him, and was studying for a university degree. But his life was suddenly and irrevocably changed when a car accident left him a paraplegic.
Blythe Spirit is the story of Sandy’s journey from the depths of despair in his hospital bed to the elation of co-captaining the Australian men’s wheelchair basketball team, which won the gold medal at the Atlanta Paralympics and aims to do the same in Sydney 2000. It recounts his fierce determination to be the first wheelchair-bound student to complete a physical education degree, and later a Master’s degree, and his work in helping other men and women cope with the trauma of severe spinal injury.
Blythe Spirit is an extraordinary autobiography, filled with joy, sadness and humour, that will move and inspire everyone who reads it.
Comments:The author of this book, Sandy Blythe, has lived an amazing life. Well on his way to a career in footy, he suffered a spinal injury, leaving him a paraplegic. Rather than giving up, as so many people do, he turned his life around. He became the first person in a wheelchair to be awarded diploma in Physical Education (overcoming many obstacles to do so) and later went on to receive his masters. He returned to the hospital where he went through his rehab, and spent many years helping others get through the trauma of spinal injuries. He helped educate many people about the abilities of people in wheelchairs. He commenced a successful career in wheelchair basketball, winning the Gold in the Atlanta Paralympics.
This book is extremely well written, with amusing anecdotes and uniquely Australian language and humour. So many autobiographies are a chore to read. This is not one of them. This book is entertaining and easy to read. At times I felt like crying, at times I laughed and the descriptions of the basketball games were tense and exciting (and I normally hate sport!). Blythe Spirit is an inspiration and I highly recommend it.
- Five of the Best Moments of the London Paralympics (epicahealth.com)
- ‘I won’t quit rugby’, vows paralysed schoolboy (express.co.uk)
- Sue Austin deep sea dives in a wheelchair (woman.com.au)