Paula Radcliffe, Sonia O’Sullivan and Seán Og Ó hAilpín - just a few of the top sports stars who have been treated by the healing hands of sports therapist Ger Hartmann - were all in attendance at the Limerick man’s clinic in UL this Monday to launch his memoir Born To Perform - How Sport Has Shaped My Life.
Keith Wood was MC and Eamon Coughlan formally launched the book, surrounded by a who’s who of international athletes, most of whom have been treated and restored to health thanks to Hartmann’s treatment.
Several of those present lauded Hartmann’s prowess. Keith Wood declared: “Rugby was professional but my body was not. Ger’s hands were needed to bridge that gap”.
Three time Olympian Coughlan said the book was “passionate, honest, gifted and inspiring”.
“Not only has Gerard touched the lives of so many people, he transformed them. His positive attitude is infectious. (He is) a true champion of life.”
The book charts Hartmann’s remarkable personal journey from sporting excellence and success to the utter heartbreak and shock of serious injury and his ultimate redirection and reinvention as a world renowned sports therapist who counts 61 Olympic medallists amongst his clients.
Essentially an autobiography, the book - according to the Irish Times journalist Ian O’Riordan, who helped Hartmann to write it - is “as much about the lives of others as it is about Hartmann’s life”. In particular, the book tells the stories of the world class athletes Hartmann has worked with throughout his storied career.
Hartmann himself has waved off talk that he has a special gift, stating: “It is a nice idea, but I don’t believe I have any healing hands or any kind of special powers”.
Born to Perform is out now in all good bookshops.