Chariots and Horses

Chariots and Horses

Life Lessons from an Olympic Rower

By (author): Jason Dorland
ISBN 9781927051009
Softcover | Publication Date: October 15, 2011
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
248 Pages
$22.95 CAD

About the Book

Jason Dorland is no stranger to competition. As a rower and coach, he’s seen his share of races won and lost. But after a devastating performance at the 1988 Olympics, Jason was overwhelmed by a sense of failure—and with small wonder. Winning at all costs, whereby the playing field is seen as a battlefield, is pretty much the industry standard when it comes to motivating elite athletes. That philosophy coloured his own coaching style—until he met someone who coped with the loss of her own Olympic dream, and viewed competition itself, in a different way.

An honest, intimate look at the reality of high-level athletics, Chariots and Horses is more than a sports story. In charting his progress from struggling athlete to an inspirational coach driven to instill a healthy competitive spirit in his rowers, Jason Dorland shows how in sports and in life, it’s all about the journey.

About the Author(s)

Jason Dorland is an Olympian, coach, entrepreneur, and storyteller who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of excellence for himself and those he supports. He is the author of Chariots and Horses: Life Lessons from an Olympic Rower. During his ten years of coaching high-school rowing, Jason’s crews won twelve international championship events, set a Canadian course record time, and won back-to-back events with the same four athletes—a feat never before achieved at a National Championship. When Jason is not sharing his experiences and life lessons through his keynotes and workshops, he consults as a high-performance coach for athletes, artists, and executives. For more information, visit


“An honest and emotionally raw account of how his life was ambushed by failure. But the story does not end with defeat.” —Cheryl Clock, St. Catharines Standard
“It is a deeply personal account of high-performance athletic competition and the long journey to putting that experience in perspective . . . This is a book that should be read by coaches and competitors regardless of their sport—in fact, it will be valuable for anyone who has to confront the challenge of setting goals, staying motivated and inspiring high-performance athletes to reach their highest potential.” —Justin Longo
“Jason Dorland beat himself up for years after losing his Olympic race and he doesn't want to see others do the same. —Neil Stevens, The Canadian Press
“Not your typical story about a young man finding his way through sport and his Olympic dream. Inspiring.” —Tricia Smith, Olympic rower
“It takes courage to examine the anatomy of a failure and use it as the seed of greatness and fulfilment. [Jason’s story] is not only honourable, but highly inspirational.” —Hayley Wickenheiser, Olympic Champion, women’s hockey
“Jason Dorland has written a deeply personal and brutally honest account of the highs and lows of growing up within a ‘winning-is-everything’ sport culture. His journey from athlete to Olympian to retiree to coach is intense and fascinating. This transformative story of one man’s struggle to conquer his own demons in order to better the lives of those he teaches is as remarkable as it is inspiring.” —Mark Tewksbury, Olympic Champion, swimming
"Jason Dorland has written an insightful and significant book. As in Shakespeare, the wisdom of the book is revealed in the conversations or asides between him and Robyn Meagher. Robyn, an Olympic runner, provides Jason his awakening, teaching the world-class rower to get a grip. To pull together is, really, to pull oneself together." —Ron MacLean, Hockey Night in Canada
“I would encourage anyone who feels the need to own every rowing book like I do, to go out and purchase a copy [of Chariots and Horses] . . . I tore through the first 100 pages without taking a break and only stopped to allow myself to read some other books before I went to bed.” —Eric Lamontagne, Be Smart. Row Hard.
"Dorland gets it. Winning is only one part of the sporting adventure. His captivating story will empower you to use sport as a catalyst for the next generation." —Adam Kreek, Olympic Champion, rowing
“At the risk of being arrested by the cliché police, I consider [Chariots and Horses] to be a ‘must read' for coaches and rowers—especially coaches. —Brad Alan Lewis, Olympic Champion, rowing and author of Assault on Lake Casitas