Public Release: 

Uncovering the ingredients of champions

World Scientific


IMAGE: Professor Allan Snyder, one of the top 10 most creative people in higher education view more

Credit: Allan W. Snyder

Professor Allan Snyder, one of the top 10 most creative people in higher education, has published his latest book on "What Makes a Champion" with World Scientific.

The book outlines more than 50 distinguished individuals and their insights of what constitutes a champion, including Nelson Mandela, Corazon Aquino, John Howard, and Sir Edmund Hillary amongst others. Snyder also notes that while many would know about Roger Bannister's breaking of the elusive four-minute-mile barrier, they may not be aware that he went on to a distinguished career as a neurologist, becoming Professor of Medicine at Oxford.

Sprinkled with axioms from these individuals, the book derives motivational anchor points from their life styles through the themes of persistence, developing one's gifts, taking risks, having a focus.

Readers can look forward to be treated with delightful quotes that include:

"If you know you can do it, why bother". Sir Hillary Edmund

"The ability to take risks or to risk failure is the only way towards the achievement of one's dreams and great desires... There are some with great talents who stagnate and cease to grow. There are others with seemingly lesser gifts who continue to learn and to grow and who emerge as the actual champions." Father Bienvenido Nebres

"It is willpower deep within the very being of the individual that drives them to achieve the status of a champion" Kevan Gosper

"The true champions were the ones who had all of the other attributes but were also prepared, in the right circumstances, to break the rules!" Peter Ritchie

Commenting on his project of pooling together these timeless experiences, Professor Snyder said, "Champions are ubiquitous. I cannot pretend to enumerate the categories to evaluate them in some hierarchical order. Ultimately the process of conferring championship is a highly personal evaluation and one no doubt woven in to our dreams and aspirations. The concept of a champion differs between individuals and even differs in any one individual over time... I have enormous respect for anyone who builds something significant from nothing. That feat requires orchestrating a symphony of diverse talents. I value the most a person who shows us how to look at the world differently, especially when the process smashes our mindsets and dissolves our preconceptions as did Ghandi, Copernicus and Bannister. Ultimately, I believe the process of looking at the world in a completely new way is a celebration of what it means to be human."


The book retails at all major bookstores at US$28 (paperback). More information about the book can be found at

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