Watching the Winter Olympics? While you’re following your favourite Olympic athletes, you can listen to these bestselling sports biographies and best inspirational books. These best sports books are a must-read to learn the untold life stories of the most inspirational athletes and how these legends rose to the hall of fame.
Is there any Canadian athlete more iconic than Wayne Gretzky? This autobiography goes beyond the surface and dives into the stories, experiences, and inspirations that shaped the four-time Stanley Cup winner. Gretzky uncovers everything from his early life and formative experiences to iconic moments on the ice and pivotal points that helped put him on the path to greatness. Along with telling teneccccbnkcngdnjdbcglkbjunchevhcccvtjgelrcii
he author’s personal story, this audiobook covers sports history, advice for athletes, and motivation to keep persevering.
The audiobook adaptation is narrated by Mike Chamberlain, who delivers the drama and excitement of Wayne Gretzky’s life and career with ease. He expertly navigates stories of the Great One, both on and off the ice, creating a full picture of the hockey legend and the man.
Sean Avery was a divisive player, but he certainly knew how to make his presence known on the ice. He is one of those best players that many people loved and just as many people loved to hate. From his controversial style to his NHL success, Avery doesn’t hold back in this memoir, coauthored with Michael McKinley.
Avery was a rough, scrappy player who was always trying to get a rise out of opposing players. He was often successful—in fact, he held the record for the most penalty time in both the 2003-04 season and the 2005-06 season. His style of ‘agitation’ was in many ways effective, but ultimately led to his career’s demise, as many teams waived him.
Offside is a candid and open look at the player’s controversial tactics, as told by Avery himself. As the narrator, Sean Avery adds all the colour and flair this title needs, as well as offering an authentic nature to the stories and providing insight into some of the more well-known incidents throughout his career. There is no one better to tell his story than Avery himself.
While hockey is one of the most popular sports and successful franchises in Canada, it’s not just for or about men. From national recognition to Olympic gold medals, the women of Canadian hockey have made their presence known.
The Role I Played calls attention to the amazing career of Canadian hockey goalie, Sami Jo Small, three-time Olympic medalist and five-time World Championship winner, twice named championship MVP. She was a member of the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team when women’s hockey made its Olympic debut at Nagano in 1998. Four years later in Salt Lake City, she won her first Olympic gold medal—a victory she celebrated with her team, despite the disappointment of not getting to play in the decisive game.
In this autobiography, Small shares her perspective on the team, the Olympics, the medals, and the sport of women’s hockey more generally. Listeners will love being able to step onto the ice with her and experience—through her eyes—what it is like to play for your country and help bring them to victory, both on the ice and as a force of positivity in the dressing room and on the bench.
When you think of iconic Canadian Olympians, one of the first names that comes to mind is Clara Hughes—an outstanding athlete, an impressive Olympian, an all around inspiring person, and a true Canadian hero. In this quick 15 minute listen, Clara Hughes: The Only Canadian Athlete Who Won Medals at Two Olympic Games tells her amazing story.
Downright iconic, Hughes, as the audiobook title suggests, is the only Canadian athlete to have ever won medals in both the summer and winter Olympic games. Her events of choice are cycling and speed skating, and she has excelled at both, delivering amazing athletic performances. She holds bronze medals in cycling, and gold, silver, and bronze medals in a number of speed skating Olympic events.
Hughes is inspiring not only for being one of the few athletes to ever compete in both winter and summer Olympics but for also for embodying the champion's mindset. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, she got into partying at a young age. Fortunately, she was inspired by other athletes to take on speed skating, where she discovered her true passion. Part of the Canadian History for Kids series, created by Professor Beaver, this audiobook captures Clara Hughes’s determination to succeed, hard work ethic and devotion to athletics.
Do you know the name of the first ever Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal? The Greatest Athlete (You've Never Heard Of) highlights a truly unbelievable story of the man who first brought gold home for Canada—even if his medals were wrongfully credited to the United States of America for 70 years.
The name of the first ever Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal is George Washington Orton, and this audiobook is a long overdue celebration of an essentially unknown Canadian sports hero. It’s written and narrated by Mark Hebscher, who displays a strong sense of pride and passion for sports and Canada in his reading.
The Greatest Athlete (You've Never Heard Of) is both a look back at history and a dive into Orton’s life, who overcame daunting obstacles—he couldn’t walk until he was 10—to become the greatest runner of his generation and win Olympic gold. His determination paved the way for many more Canadian Olympians that followed.
Bravery is a marvelous story about resilience, strength, finding your inner self and triumph. Alexi Pappas is an Olympic runner who has transitioned into writing and various on screen endeavors. In this inspiring audiobook, she tells her story, diving into the details of training and working as an Olympic endurance athlete and going beyond to reveal how the discipline, hard work and difficulty of that process helped shape her and turn her into the strong confident woman she is today.
A great mixture of sports book and memoir, Bravery also acts as a self-help guide. Though Pappas does not preach any one specific practice, she discusses mental health, struggles and triumphs with a beautifully candid openness that paves the way for discussions about inner strength, confidence and relying on one’s self.
She narrates the audiobook adaptation herself, adding style, passion and a personal touch to this deeply engaging and moving story. An excellent addition to any sports lover's listener library, Bravery is also a great listen for anyone seeking to find their own inner strength. Written by a remarkable woman and an outstanding athlete, it is simply one of the best books out there—in or out of sports.
To achieve your dreams, it takes dedication. Hard work. Motivation. And a little dose of craziness that won’t take no for an answer. That, in a nutshell, is Phil Gaimon. Gaimon dreamed of becoming a professional athlete and through fierce determination and perseverance, he eventually achieved that lofty goal. Gaimon is a professional cyclist who has competed at the highest level—the World Tour—the top competition for elite athletes in cycling.
Cycling is a sport that has seen a lot of press over the years, a lot of which was negative. Gaimon addresses these issues from the inside, discussing what it was like being in a sport that is now notorious for its competitors using performance enhancing drugs. He tackles this and other issues of training, rejection and determination as he narrates his own story and life in cycling.
Gaimon brings to life an inspiring story, and is a prime example of how determination and disciplined training can truly help you achieve even the largest dreams. A must-listen for any athlete, Draft Animals will motivate you to keep pushing and never give up on your ambitions.
Butterfly is a truly remarkable and beautiful story of a young girl, born into difficult circumstances, who was able to rise above and achieve her biggest dreams. Yusra Mardini tells the story of her life as a young refugee from Syria and her goal of competing in the Olympics as a swimmer. It is a motivating story that shows how it is possible to achieve your dreams, no matter what your circumstances are or obstacles you face.
Mardini did compete on the Olympic Refugee team in 2016, fulfilling her dreams and bringing to life the culmination of all her hard work and training. She is a wonderful role model for young athletes—and for older athletes too. Though goals and dreams may seem far away, Mardini’s story is a reminder that just about anything is achievable with the right attitude.
Following her hard-won victory, Mardini has transitioned into working with the UN and is using her experiences as a refugee to fight for freedoms and rights denied to others. Not only a great athlete, Mardini is a strong and determined activist; she has not settled for achieving one goal but is striving for more continually. Lameece Issaq narrates this inspiring book with passion, blending their voice perfectly with the style and feel of the story.
Meb Keflezighi is a world class and Olympic runner, who specializes in running marathons. In 26 Marathons: What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from My Marathon Career, he draws lessons from his journey as an athlete. Having run countless marathons, he has a wealth of knowledge for prospective and current runners, from training tips to how to prepare mentally and a variety of interesting insights into the sport itself.
But this audiobook is not just for runners. Like many athletes, Keflezighi translates his passion and work ethic into other aspects of his life, and the result is this impressive book that is full of life wisdom and lessons for any listener. 26 Marathons is a great tool for anyone looking to find that inner motivation and strength to work towards their goals.
Holter Graham narrates this audiobook, capturing Keflezighi’s energy and commitment to create a wonderful listening experience for sports enthusiasts, Olympic fans, runners and anyone looking for a little extra inspiration.
Amy Purdy wowed crowds and won hearts with her appearance on Dancing with the Stars, becoming an overnight superstar—but not many know the details of her story. Now, Purdy is opening up and letting the world in as she tells the story of her near death experience, the struggles she faced adjusting to a new way of life, and the triumphant comeback she made, reaching new goals and new heights she had never even imagined.
Amy Purdy is a decorated Paralympic snowboarder and the picture of resilience. Fighting against a life threatening illness, she lost her legs but never lost her hope and spirit. Purdy opens up about this extremely difficult time, and how she found her path into pro snowboarding.
Despite the obvious setbacks, Purdy has become an impressive and award-winning snowboarder, and becoming an icon of hope, relentless resilience, and strength to many young athletes. Her story is an inspiring one, which she narrates herself for added feeling. Listeners won’t be able to help connecting with her infectious personality, and feeling inspired to overcome obstacles in their own life after hearing On My Own Two Feet.
Being a pioneer, a first, a standout in any sport or field can be a remarkable achievement, but being the first to do anything also means being the one to fight—sometimes through obstacle after obstacle—to claim your place. Ibtihaj Muhammad knows exactly what this is like, being someone who stood out most of her life.
Muhammad was the only Muslim, a visible minority, at her school, and also the only one to break into Olympic fencing, a sport traditionally reserved for the upper class and wealthy. The path was not easy, and she was not exactly welcomed into the fold. But, she never gave up. She forged the way for other minorities to follow their dreams—sports related and beyond—despite what others may say.
This audiobook adaptation is a triumph, showcasing the amazing resilience and strength of Muhammad—a hero to young women and the disenfranchised, both as a role model in her sport and in life. Proud is an inspiring true story and a must listen.
Lindsey Vonn is the most decorated female skier of all time. From Olympic gold medals to world champion wins, she has made a strong name for herself in the world of winter sports. Rise is her first ever memoir, and she opens up about her life both on and off the slopes. Despite her many successes, Vonn has had her share of struggles. In this audiobook, she talks candidly about depression, living up the image of becoming a sports icon, and dealing with the pressure—both from the outside and internally—that falls on high level athletes. Her honesty makes this a powerful listen for athletes or prospective athletes who may be struggling with similar issues. She explores how these struggles are real and present, but also offers hope and proof that they don’t have to stop you.
Andi Ardnt narrates this audiobook memoir of sports wins and life triumphs. A story full of ups and downs, Rise is the perfect listen for sports enthusiasts and athletes alike.
Imagine becoming the first to bring home a gold for your country in your designated sport. Hessie Diggins did just that, being the first female cross country skier to win gold for the United States. With one slide of her ski, Diggins launched herself into legendary status. Brave Enough documents her journey to that groundbreaking and iconic moment, telling the story of her life, both on and off skis.
Diggins was a determined and strong individual from an early age, and this audiobook showcases how she harnessed that internal strength and channeled it into her sports career. She also is candid about the struggles with image and self worth she faced, from dealing with bulimia to the heavy pressures she felt as an inspiring athlete, and how she learnt to develop a level of mental toughness.
Brave Enough goes beyond just the athlete and explores the makings of a strong woman. Through her sport and her life, Hessie Diggins learned to become more self assured and more confident in herself.
Simon Biles is one of the most iconic Olympians of all time. Known for being the best of the best in gymnastics, and doing stunts, tricks and routines that only she can master, she seemed truly unstoppable. For all young gymnasts, she is a shining example of determination and excellence. Her achievements are well recognized: Biles is one of the most decorated gymnasts of all time, with seven Olympic medals.
Her memoir, Courage to Soar documents her career and Olympic successes, as well as her earlier days in the sport of gymnastics. Her personal story is also a remarkable one. This book goes beyond the mat and the gym, and tells of the early years of Biles’s career, as well as delivering a behind the scenes look at some of the most iconic events in gymnastics.
Through her career and her determination to be herself—and be real with the press—Biles has become a wonderful role model for young girls and young athletes generally. This book is a glimpse into what makes her so special, and is a wonderful listen for gymnastic or sports fans, as well as anyone just interested in learning more about her iconic story. Imani Park narrates, and brings a dynamic and emotive reading to this inspiring memoir.
Lolo Jones is tough, there is no denying that. She didn’t come from a pampered life, she never had it easy, but her background, her struggles, and her early years shaped her into the strong willed, determined and successful person she is today. She is always striving to get to the next level. And there is no stopping her.
An Olympic hurdler, Jones knows exactly what it means to overcome obstacles—both literally and figuratively. Over It is a no-nonsense, straight-shooting look at her life and career. Jones narrates the audiobook herself, infusing it with the strength, confidence and humor that she carries throughout her daily life.
Over It is the perfect listen to help encourage anyone—athlete or not—to get over the little things, to fight through the hardships and put in the work needed to get where you want to go. Whether that is the Olympics, an athletic title or simply following personal dreams, Jones gives the straight-shooting advice to help you make it happen. No BS.
Take a listen at women’s athleticism more generally, with Strong Like Her by Haley Shapley. Shapley is a sports journalist, who, over her career, has compiled tales, stories and moments of awe-inspiring strength and determination from female athletes and best sports icons from all sports and all walks of life. This audiobook both celebrates and encourages women’s strength in sports and in culture.
This audiobook is inspiring, celebratory and uplifting of female athletes. It highlights the strengths—both physical and mental—that pro athletes need to succeed. Throughout, Shapley offers several shiny examples of female athleticism and overall strength.
Amanda Dolan and Haley Shapley narrate this inspirational athlete audiobook together, bringing their own strong female voices to the stories of others, celebrating the power of being a woman, and the power there is in acknowledging, unapologetically, the strength of women everywhere.
In 1999, the US Women’s National Soccer Team inspired a cultural revolution when Brandi Chastain scored the winning penalty against China in the World Cup final. Rob Goldman’s The Sisterhood tells the story of the first and second generations of USWNT players, known as the 99ers, who built the foundation for the team’s enduring success. The Sisterhood is a testament to athletes and their coaches who inspired women in every corner of the world.
Performed by Gina Rogers, this great book is transformed into an even more exciting audiobook that will fascinate listeners. You don’t need to be a soccer fanatic to get gripped by this real-life account of female empowerment, overcoming defeat and achieving victory.
Another empowering title that deserves a spot on our list of inspirational audiobooks about athletes is The National Team, written by author and soccer journalist Caitlin Murray. The National Team, available exclusively on Audible, recounts “the inside story of the women who dreamed big, defied the odds, and changed soccer.” The US Women’s National Soccer Team has achieved countless victories in the past few decades. But despite this, women athletes continue to face poor playing conditions, low pay and limited opportunities to compete in professional soccer leagues.
In this insightful listen, narrated by Andi Arndt, Caitlin Murray investigates the formation of the USWNT in the 1980s to the run-up to the 2019 World Cup, uncovering both their triumphs and challenges off the pitch. Through nearly 100 exclusive interviews with players, coaches and team officials, Murray takes listeners inside the locker rooms and boardrooms and on the field, sparing no details.
Abby Wambach played a pivotal role in the US Women’s National Soccer Team from 2003 to 2015 and was named one of the most influential people by Time Magazine in 2015. Any list of the most inspiring books by athletes would be incomplete without soccer legend Wambach’s memoir. Now retired, Wambach named her autobiography after her position in soccer, Forward. In this deeply personal book, the six-time winner of the US Soccer Athlete of the Year award recounts her victories and losses, tough decisions and the pivotal moments that helped her become a world-class athlete.
Aside from her soccer career, Wambach has become a heavily requested speaker who has addressed audiences from college students to executives at Fortune 500 companies. She channels her impressive storytelling skills and captivating charisma into the stunning audio performance of her book.
Another moving title written by a soccer superstar earns its rightful place on our list. Briana Scurry is a retired goalkeeper and two-time Olympic gold medalist. She won gold at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, the first time women’s soccer was played in the Olympics. Aside from winning tournaments and medals, Scurry broke barriers and overcame challenges off the pitch. She was the only Black player on the famous 99ers team and the first player to be openly gay. Her career came to a tragic end in 2010 when she suffered severe head trauma. She spiralled into depression, debt and pain and even contemplated suicide. In this gripping memoir, which she narrates, Briana Scurry details her story of triumph, tragedy and resilience. Honest, courageous, and uplifting, My Greatest Save is another great accomplishment from the soccer legend.
Why does soccer matter so much to millions of fans around the world? What makes people idolize soccer players and look to them for inspiration? There’s no better person to guide you through soccer and its significance than the former Brazilian soccer star, Pelé. Regarded as one of the best players of all time, Pelé embodied the spirit of the game and created the blueprint for generations of professional soccer players.
This stunning audiobook by Pelé and Brian Winter, Why Soccer Matters, was originally released to coincide with the 2014 Fifa World Cup, which took place in Pelé’s home country, Brazil. Pelé shares his most inspiring experiences, heartwarming stories, and wisdom in groundbreaking detail. Narrator Sean Pratt captures Pelé’s palpable enthusiasm for soccer and his insider’s perspective on the game.