OSCAR CHALUPSKY READY FOR RELEASE OF NEW BOOK
He’s long been the most recognisable voice in surfski paddling, now Oscar Chalupsky has been immortalised in print.
The 12-time Molokai Challenge winner’s new book ‘No Retreat, No Surrender: The inspiring story of a world champion sportsman and cancer warrior’ will be released on August 1.
Ghost-written by his life-long friend Graham Spence, it details his life, incredible sporting career and current health battle.
“It’s a relief,” Chalupsky says. “It’s been a long time in the making.”
“I’ve always wanted to write a book because a lot of people have always been asking me.
“I decided, ‘Listen I’ve only got a few months to live, I might as well write a book about what I’ve gone through and how to fight it.’”
‘The Big O’ makes it sound simple but the process was exhausting, digging through his personal archives to revive the experiences and emotions behind his seemingly never-ending list of achievements.
“Thank goodness I have all of my scrapbooks from 1969 to help me remember,” he remarks.
“Can you imagine how difficult it is to remember all of the events and the details of what happened in the races?
“It is fantastic how the support has been there from not only paddlers or people suffering from cancer, but from anyone who has been through problems in life.
“That’s what I wanted to do. It’s definitely a book to inspire and motivate anybody facing adversity and going through a tough time.”
“It’s a memoir with life lessons in between. There’s life lessons after every chapter.”
The book’s release comes at a typically-exhausting time for Chalupsky.
The 59 year-old is preparing for another two weeks chemotherapy before again going under the knife, when doctors attempt to remove skin cancer from his head for the fifth time.
“It’s going to be tough,” he admits. “I won’t look a pretty sight but we have to do what we have to do.”
Not that it has slowed plans for the official launch.
Just one day after that operation, Chalupsky will jump on a plane and return to South Africa to begin a publicity tour.
“There’s 600 book stores in South Africa and the posters and everything should be up… so maybe I’ll get famous?” He laughs.
And yes, in between all of that, Oscar plans to paddle.
Chalupsky is still completely immersed in the surfski scene, signing on as the race director of both Malaysia’s new ‘Whack the Waves’ event and the European Championships in Sardinia.
But as an athlete, he’s as competitive as ever.
“When there’s wind, I can stay with the fastest in the world I think,” he says. “But in the flat water, I’m really bad. I don’t know what it is.
“Hopefully I’ll keep training, keep improving and keep my technique – which is not as good as it was, so I have to work on that to get my speed up.
“I plan to race all over the world. Obviously I’ll be here [in Portugal] for the World Marathon Champs and NELO Summer Challenge, then I’m heading to The Doctor and 20 Beaches.
“Hopefully I can do alright. It’s pretty tough, I’m not as fast as I used to be and I’m not as strong as I used to be.
“That’s supposed to happen. You’re supposed to be fatigued, which I’m not. I am all good.”