A champion who carried the Olympic flame now carries a torch for Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.
John Mayor — a 33-time British champion in masters athletics (track and field) — says, “I thought Maggie was a fantastic book; well put together and very inspirational!”
Maggie Vaults Over the Moon tells the story of a Kansas farm girl who overcomes tragedy and soars to new heights as a pole-vaulter. The novel has been endorsed by US Olympic pole vaulters, coaches, school counselors, and now, by an Olympic Torch-Bearer, who’s spreading the word about the novel’s inspiring message for young people.
“It’s a great book!” Mayor said, adding, “I’ve passed it on to a pole-vault coach at my club and she will recommend it to all the people in her group.”
As a former world pentathlon champion, Mayor has run about a zillion meters in his career. But none were more memorable than the 300-meter relay leg he ran with the Olympic torch last summer through King George Park in his hometown of Stevenage, about 30 miles north of London.
“It was an amazing experience,” Mayor recalled. “Best of all, I got to keep the torch!”
Maggie author Grant Overstake was over-awed to receive an endorsement for his novel by someone with an Olympic torch on display in his living room.
“It’s an honor for Maggie to receive recognition from someone who is without a doubt, among the world’s great ambassadors for the sport of track and field,” Overstake said. “It’s wonderful to hear that one of the world’s most inspiring athletes was inspired by a special girl from Grain Valley, Kansas.”
Overstake received word that Mayor had received a copy of the book through Amazon.UK and was eager to find out what he thought of the story, which is based in a rural American culture. But in fact, Mayor is no stranger to America’s Heartland. He has visited the region several times in recent years, representing the UK in master’s decathlons against athletes from the US. Overstake himself competed for the USA in the event a few years ago.
“I met John in 2004, at the USA-Great Britain Challenge in Carthage, Mo.,” Overstake said. “Since then, John has continued to excel on the world stage. Obviously it was a fitting tribute for John to be selected by his country to carry the torch at the London Olympics. He personifies everything great about track and field in the United Kingdom, which the Brits lovingly call athletics.”
Mayor, 55, competes for the Stevenage and North Herts Athletics Club, and is currently training for the IAAF World Masters Athletic Championships in Brazil in October, where he will compete in the decathlon, run the open hurdles and carry the baton for a few British relays.
Maggie says, “Go John! Go! Or, as they say across the pond, Best of British to you, John!”