This review of Vera Koo’s The Most Unlikely Champion, written by Daria Gerasimova at Online Book Club, acknowledges that Vera has overcome a life of hurdles to become a champion. Read on to learn more of the hurdles, and the triumphs.
Not all worldwide professionals begin their careers in childhood. While fresh and blooming body muscles can conquer mountains of medals, what if age is not the key?
Vera Koo is not initially an athlete, as a reader may mistakenly perceive from the book’s cover or the blurb. She had never been drawn to any serious sport before her middle age (except for their divergent family occasions); however, Vera had something more than an appropriate body that can bear countless physical routines. Spending her upbringing in the opposite country – China – to the place she and her parents would depart – California – she had enlightened her internal self to confront challenges. Her life had been full of hurdles, but the sport shooting became her best supporter and mentor for the solid thirty years until her conclusive retirement.
The crowd habitually undervalues older people, supposing that the latest things left to do for them are looking after their grandchildren or water-logging their gardens. Vera Koo, with no intentions, proved it wrong while respecting her eventful past and getting surprised by the unforeseeable outcomes.
In conjunction with Justin Paul, Vera Koo wrote her debut memoir “The Most Unlikely Champion” as a long emotional roller coaster that could have even turned into a creative novel. Her well-directed story-telling builds an ambiance as I observe her from a meager distance while sensing her feelings. Notwithstanding my confusion in the earliest chapters of the story, I quickly detected the style of the parallel path she had to go through as a circumstance of her marriage, pregnancy, family business, and sport shooting. After the first few episodes, I got an impression of the stunning persona this book depicts.
The composition of the book consists of classified chapters with a profoundly detailed narrative from Vera herself. She swiftly clasps a reader with heart-to-heart language unfolding feelings she underwent but never told anyone, the arrangement of goals she set, sacrifices, and travails within her diverse family. Her vivid portrayal of the past events creates a terrific visualization going farther than a story of a typical individual from the sports world.
The moment, which will remain in my head and indeed help with my struggles, is one of the competitions Vera would attend. Full of doubts, trying to manage her concentration (one of her most exceptional traits as a shooter), praying in her mind, she proceeded through the court with her competitors. She would hear cliche remarks towards her, especially male shooters thinking that she was there for their attention. After the pistol in her hands would earn a perfect score, those people would shake her hand in the queue.
As long-time friends, I and she would handle the intolerance and disrespect from her surroundings, receive awards alongside the best shooters in the world.
With the smooth flow of my reading, I did not find any critical errors since the book seems to be well-edited.
I sincerely rate this book 4 out of 4 points due to the educational and emotional story of the woman who can inspire other generations with her example.
I would recommend this work to the people seeking motivation or even a tiny push to start things they were afraid of; those who want to absorb the world of sport inside-out; those vehement and vocal about political and social matters (such as racism, gender inequality, a domestic violation). This book will provide a reader with the entire spectrum of emotions, from anger to relief, from tears to a prideful smile.
Read the original version of “Review: Life of Hurdles” here.