President of World Athletics pens foreword in intimate book featuring Bahamian roots and global reach
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The US publisher behind two-time gold medalist Pauline Davis has released the cover of her hotly anticipated memoir, with pre-sales open ahead of its early 2022 release.
“Running Sideways: The Olympic Champion Who Made Track and Field History” chronicles Davis’ miraculous rise from a clapboard house in Bain Town, without electricity or running water, to the bright lights of the Olympics and the hallways of power at World Athletics, headquartered in Monaco.
According to the publisher’s website, the memoir’s foreword is penned by Lord Sebastian Coe, World Athletics president, signaling global support for her story.
“I am beyond honored to have my friend Lord Coe contribute to my book,” said Davis, who wrote it in collaboration with award-winning Canadian author TR Todd.
“At the end of the day, I am still the same girl from Over-The-Hill on Fleming Street. But I think what will surprise a lot of people are the struggles I’ve had to overcome to reach the top. I want this book to be a testament to the determination of all Bahamians. I want the world to know who we are.”
Published by Rowman & Littlefield, and with an official release date of Feb 9, 2022, the synopsis of “Running Sideways” states: “Born and raised in the ghetto, Pauline fought through poverty, inequality, racism and political machinations from her own country to beat the odds and become a two-time gold medalist, the first individual gold medalist in sprinting from the Caribbean, the first woman of color on the World Athletics council and a central figure in the Russian anti-doping campaign.”
Raw, honest and uplifting, the memoir includes high-profile interviews with other figures such as Dick Pound, founder of the World Anti-Doping Association and former vice president of the International Olympic Committee.
In a ringing endorsement of the book, Pound wrote: “In this engaging book, readers will learn much about Pauline and her character, international sport and perhaps, in the process, something about themselves.”
At the same time, Davis’ book delves deep into her roots in The Bahamas, with interviews from coaches, fellow athletes and even former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.
At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Davis and her fellow “Golden Girls” — Debbie Ferguson, Chandra Sturrup, Savatheda Fynes and Eldece Clarke — famously shocked the world and won the gold medal in the 4x100m race, marking perhaps the most significant sports moment in Bahamian history. At those same Olympics, Davis captured the silver medal in the 200m, only to be awarded the gold 10 years later after Marion Jones, the US sprinter phenom, was infamously stripped of her medals for doping.
Broad in its scope, both Bahamian and international, “Running Sideways” presents The Bahamas is a unique light, according to TR Todd.
“There has never been a story quite like Pauline’s,” explained Todd, who in 2018 published the award-winning “Pigs of Paradise: The True Story of the World Famous Swimming Pigs”.
“Beyond her incredible physical abilities and the trail she blazed for women in The Bahamas and the Caribbean, she is also simply so honest and forthright. Pauline holds nothing back, whether it is her upbringing, her country, her heroes, her detractors, local politics, international politics and everything in between.
“The world needed a new, refreshing voice like this. Pauline is truly an incredible hidden figure in sports — but hidden no more.”
When the book is released, Davis said, her first book signing will be in The Bahamas.