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Competitive sport is today about winning and training to win. Many athletes are professionals, with careers managed by teams of specialist staff working towards the ultimate goal of world-class, medal-winning performances. This entry-level text offers new students a comprehensive introduction to the phenomenon of the pursuit of excellence in sport, covering the key issues and talking points including: * the history and tradition of sporting excellence * comparisons of elite high-performance sport programmes in Australia, the USA, East Germany and France * the historical, social, political and economic impacts of sporting excellence in the UK * current issues and debates, including drugs in sport * the future for high-performance sport. With a clear framework for understanding and exploring key issues, questions for discussion, websites and suggestions for further reading, In Pursuit of Excellence is an ideal introduction for AS, A Level and undergradute students.