Jamie - The Flying Pinapple

18 Nov 2011

In 1997, the Welsh sprinter Jamie Baulch won a silver medal in the 400m relay at the World Championships in Athens. Little did he know then that the race would be remembered as one of the most controversial in athletics history.

Jamie - The Flying Pinapple
Jamie’s story of how that silver medal turned to gold, his trademark blond dreadlocks and his speed on the running track are detailed in his book, The Flying Pineapple, launched as part of Wales’s Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn series in 2011.

Jamie was a guest speaker at the TUC Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) conference in the Hilton Hotel, Newport on Thursday 10 November, where he also announced the new Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn titles for 2012.

One of Britain’s most decorated athletes, Jamie was part of the 400m relay team which won silver in the 1997 World Championships, but ten years later a member of the gold medal winning American team admitted to using banned substances. "We all felt cheated because we had spent so many years feeling disappointed with our performance at not gaining gold," says Jamie in the book. "We were upgraded, but the gold medal was a tarnished one."

During his illustrious career, 37-year-old Jamie won an Olympic silver medal, European gold, Commonwealth bronze and a gold, silver and bronze in the World Championships.

The 400m sprinter, who was born in Nottingham and brought up in Newport, puts his success down to his adoptive parents, who inspired him to be the best he could be. "When I look back on my career, it is because of them that I feel as successful as I am told I have been.  They have always been there for me," he says.

In the book, Jamie recalls the fun he had competing in school and around the world, and how his life on the track was always about how fast he could run. Even after retirement he could not slow down.  He now manages Definitive Sports, a sports management company involved with a new generation of sportsmen and women, as well as current sporting stars such as Wales’s rugby player Shane Williams. "I’m blessed because I am able to make a living out of something I love doing," adds Jamie.

The book also reveals how Welsh hurdling legend Colin Jackson described coaching Jamie as "one of the brightest sparks in his life" and how he is now ‘Facebook friends’ with one of his all-time heroes, Carl Lewis.

Delyth Humphreys, Head of the Children's Books and Reading Promotion Department at the Welsh Books Council, added: "The Quick Reads/Stori Sydyn campaign is gaining momentum and encouraging thousands of people across Wales – many of whom may not have read a book before – to give reading a go.

"The sixteen new titles for 2012 offer a fascinating mix of subject matters and should appeal to a wide range of people. And, with London 2012 on everyone’s mind, sport is certainly well represented."

The Wales and Welsh-language 2012 Quick Reads / Stori Sydyn titles are:
Earnie: My Life at Cardiff City, Robert Earnshaw  
Going for Gold: Welsh Olympic Dreams for 2012
Finger Food, Helen Lederer
Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples? Weird and Wonderful Facts of Everyday Life, Wendy Sadler   
Yr Elyrch: Dathlu’r 100, Geraint Jenkins
Cymru a’r Gêmau Olympaidd, John Meurig Edwards
Hunllef, Manon Steffan Ros
Tu ôl i’r Tiara: Bywyd fel Miss Cymru, Courtney Hamilton with Alun Gibbard

The UK and Ireland 2012 Quick Reads titles are:
Full House, Maeve Binchy
The Cleverness of Ladies, Alexander McCall Smith
Quantum of Tweed: The Man with the Nissan Micra, Conn Iggulden
The Little One, Lynda La Plante
Beyond the Bounty, Tony Parsons
Amy’s Diary, Maureen Lee
Get the Life You Really Want, James Caan
Doctor Who: Magic of the Angels, Jacqueline Rayner

Gwales

Books from Wales on-line

gwales.com