Golden Lily

Asia’s First Dinghy Sailing Gold Medallist

Lijia Xu

Date Published :
March 2016
Publisher :
Fernhurst Books
Editor :
Jeremy Atkins
Series :
Making Waves
Illustration :
29 color photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781909911475
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 7.80 X 5.08 inches
In stock
eBook (ePub)
ISBN : 9781909911796-epub

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The fascinating autobiography from Asia’s first ever dinghy sailing gold medallist. Learning to sail and becoming a full-time athlete at just 10 years old, Lijia Xu was taken away from her parents and enrolled on the grueling Chinese training regime, a program meticulously prescribed across all sporting disciplines to catapult the nation’s talented youngsters to international champions. A rare insight into a shocking world of relentless physical training and unquestioning mental compliance, Lijia’s honest and heartfelt account takes you on her journey from physical disabilities and debilitating injuries to learning to think for herself, eventually going on to achieve her dream of becoming an Olympic gold medallist. This is an inspirational story of a young woman’s will to succeed despite all that her background threw at her.

About The Author

Lijia Xu was born in Shanghai in 1987. Her sports career started at the age of 5 when she was accepted by the Changning District Swimming Team. Lijia’s interest in sailing began in 1997 after being approached by the Shanghai Optimist Sailing Coach. From the age of 10 Lijia travelled all year round to sail and train; becoming a full-time sailor shortly after her 10th birthday. Her first National Championship was in the Optimist class, held in Hong Kong in 1998, which she won. In her final two years in this class Lijia won the National, Asia and World Championships, along with the National and Asian Games. On graduating from the Optimist class Lijia spent two years sailing the Europe class before moving on to the Laser Radial, which has been the Olympic single-handed dinghy for women since 2008. In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Lijia was awarded the bronze medal. Despite a number of setbacks, including serious injuries, Lijia went on to achieve the Olympic gold medal in single-handed dinghy sailing at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Not only a huge personal achievement, this also catapulted Lijia to become Asia’s first ever dinghy sailing gold medallist. Through much of her time racing a Laser Radial Lijia has been coach by Jon Emmett, a well-respected coach and successful sailor in his own right. Notable accolades have been awarded to Lijia including the 2012 Rolex World Sailor of the Year award, and becoming a Team SCA Ambassador of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. On 25th November 2015 Lijia Xu announced that she will be campaigning for selection to represent China at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Jeremy Atkins wrote and privately published four sailing books before buying Fernhurst Books from John Wiley & Sons. He is a past national champion, has run Class Associations worldwide for 20 years and been involved in running sailing clubs for nearly 40 years. He is currently Commodore of Draycote Water Sailing Club and Secretary of the Imperial Poona Yacht Club.


"A fascinating autobiography."

- Sailing Magazine

"Lily's biography is far more than a sailing book; along the way you will gain a great insight into a culture so alien to ours."

- Yachting Life

"Apart from containing a lot of tips to improve her sailing, the book is a gold mine of information for a person looking to improve in any sport or in life in general."

- Laser World

"Provides a fascinating peak into a very different system of living and training."

- SailWeb

"A great opportunity to get inside the mind of a Gold medalist and learn about what it takes to win at the highest level."

- Gybe Magazine

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