Hundreds turn out for Taylor book launch

 

Hundreds of fans greeted Olympic champion Katie Taylor as she launched her London 2012 memoir in Bray, Co Wicklow today.

Fans began queuing outside the Dubray Books launch, hosted by the Royal Hotel, from 7am to get copies of ‘My Olympic Dream’, which was written with Irish Times journalist Johnny Watterson, signed by Taylor.

“It is just basically around the Olympics; it’s not an autobiography,” the 26-year-old said in a characteristic display of modesty.

“I am looking at all these young people writing autobiographies and [thinking] what’s wrong with them?”

In a modern age of sporting superstardom, life stories offer lucrative earning potential to some of the world’s greatest stars, no matter how premature – Wayne Rooney for example released his, aptly titled ‘My Story So Far’, at just 20 years of age.

“There is a small bit of background stuff as well but it’s basically just around what happened over in London,” said Katie.

“This is a huge part of my life. All I ever dreamed about was becoming Olympic champion.

“[Johnny] made me feel very comfortable. It was tough for him; he said it was like getting blood out of a stone.

“Sometimes I find it hard to put my emotions into words, especially [with] what happened over the last few months.”

More than 800 people arrived at the signing according to staff of Dubray Books – her local bookshop – and the Royal Hotel where she has held a number of warm up fights to sell out crowds (it even has a steel container with her championship ring in storage).

Around 1,500 copies of her book were shipped in for the event and many brought their own copies.

With her firmly established position as female role model to a generation, Taylor attracted countless young girls in awe of what can be achieved.

“I really want to start boxing but my mum thinks that I will get a broken nose,” said 11-year-old Sharon Healy from Shankill in what must represent a common by-product of Katie’s success: so many would-be young boxers, so many nervous parents.

“She has the three fights at home, she watches them every day,” explained her mother Sharon. “Every day we hear Katie Taylor.”

With her recent decision to remain amateur, Taylor looks set to put her gloves on again at the end of January, most likely against the American fighter Queen Underwood.

Pete Taylor may have preferred his daughter to step out of the ring permanently, but at the same time he is looking forward to returning to some regularity.

“To get a gold medal is difficult but to do it again is even more difficult. That is what she is aiming for now,” he said.

“I am looking forward to it, to get back in the ring. The training and the ring is normality for us. This is not.”

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