The Pal Effect: A Faroe Islander's Quest For Swimming Glory

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The Faroe Islands, beguiling and mystical in the North Atlantic, have never produced an elite sportsman. Or so British journalist Rod Gilmour thought. Then he discovered swimmer Pal Joensen, medallist at the World and European Championships, whose name has become a byword for success in his country.

Pal’s journey was not easy: learning his art in a 12.5 metre pool, trained by coaches working with little support, prevented from competing for his own country in the Olympic Games. But his rise to the swimming elite has given reason for Faroese to believe that victory really is possible: the Pal Effect.

This is a lyrical account of how one man beat the odds and galvanised a nation.


British journalist Rod Gilmour has been described by The Guardian as a ‘minor sport tub-thumper’. He co-authored James Willstrop’s Shot and a Ghost: A Year in the Brutal World of Professional Squash, which was nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, the first self-published book to be nominated for the award. He has covered Olympic sports for the Daily Telegraph since 2008.


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1 August 2015 - ISBN 9780993215223

Paperback - 198 x 129mm - 192 pages