Golden Lily – A Must Read Book!

Lijia Xu, winner of the Laser Radial Olympic gold medal 2012 and Asia’s first dinghy sailing gold medallist tells the story of her journey to success!

Lijia “Lilly” Xu become a headline name in the Laser Radial class when she won the Laser Radial Women’s World Championship at the relatively young age of 19. It does not seem possible that a short 10 years later she has enough experience to write her sailing life story so far but that is discounting the fact that she started full time sailing at the age of 10 in a country that was then not known for international sailing.

Her book, “Golden Lily” covers 20 years of her life with amazing recall of her early days in the Optimist class through a national programme that is unique in the sailing world. It takes the reader through her path to an Olympic Bronze medal in her home country in 2008 and onwards to Olympic gold in Weymouth in 2012 and her life after retirement from sailing. It touches personal relationships and injury and gives a deep insight her training regime and her approach to sailing and life in general.


Her story is punctuated by 6 ‘Interludes’ that cover eating, working with coaches, mental attitude, dealing with injury and fitness and 8 ‘Positive Affirmations’ about concentration, positive thinking, team and team mates, super health, Olympics, core performance, fitness and attitudes.

For sailors it is worth buying the book for any of these 14 items alone!

Apart from containing a lot of tips to improve her sailing, the book is a gold mine of information for a person looking to improve in any sport or in life in general. It could be titled “How to succeed in sport and life and conquer adversity”.

Without all the tips, the book is still a ‘must read’ just for the story. Everyone I met who has read the book has been amazed. I guarantee that once you start to read you will not be able to put the book down. Sir Ben Ainslie, one of the most successful sailors in Olympic history said this book is “an enthralling account of Lily’s life… I commend this book to anyone interested in sailing, sport or the differences between east and west.”

If you are still in doubt watch a video of Lily’s acceptance speech of the 2012 Rolex ISAF World Sailor of the Year award on you tube:


Golden Lily is published by and available through them or online at: