By birth a Nigerian prince, Kriss Akabusi (and his brother) lost touch with his parents in the Nigerian civil war and was brought up in England in a local authority children's home. At 16 Kriss joined the army, where he did well; this was the start of his athletics career. At 20 he visited Nigeria for the first time, to an ecstatic welcome from his people. In 1984 he was picked for the Olympic Games to run in the 400 metres (he got to the final) and the 4 x 400 metre relay (silver medal). He has raised the profile of black athletes by his courage and his consistent, disciplined approach to sport. Drugs were a temptation, especially when younger athletes began to outshine him, but he resisted and instead switched to hurdles. His training companion is gold medalist Roger Black. Following the 1986 Commonwealth Games, Kriss began to ask himself what life was all about. He read the Bible presented to all the athletes at Edinburgh and was strongly attracted to the person of Jesus. He found "history, his story, reality" in what he read. Nine months later, in a training camp in the USA, he challenged Jesus to speak directly to him. Kriss wrote the vivid dream that followed.
Next morning he told his fellow athletes, "I met Jesus last night" - they though he was crazy. His German wife Monika doesn't share his faith - although she admits Kriss is easier to live with, more thoughtful and sensitive these days. Their first daughter was the first test-tube baby to be delivered in Berlin. They now have two girls. Kriss has now left the Army and is studying Christianity in a college in California, where he also trains each winter. He belongs to a large and flourishing Californian church, and to a smaller church near his home in Southampton. In the European Championships of 1990 he took the gold and broke the record. In 1993, at the World Championships in Tokyo, he won a bronze medal in the 400 metre hurdles, and brought home the gold in the final of the 4 x 400 metres relay, in a spectacular finish. He was awarded an MBE in summer 1991 and voted sports personality of the year. He appears constantly on TV. This re-issue includes a revised introduction and re-written final two chapters, as well as new photographs.show more