The Athletes of Fiction

Posted by Danielle Mohlman

Bring on the summer sports! Here at Quirk Books, we’re fantasizing about our own favorite athletes–the fictional ones. Without further ado – and an imaginary opening ceremony – here are the athletes of our literary dreams.



Move aside, baseball. The characters in Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding are still represented in swimming. That’s where Pella Affenlight comes in. Pella spends her days at Westish College in the university’s pool, communing in some small way with the spirit of Moby Dick and to escape her young – too young – marriage. Pella’s discipline in the water has certainly paid off, earning her a spot on the team swimming the 400 meter freestyle.



Franny Post of Emma Straub’s The Vacationers would, as a career food and travel writer, be a tennis dark horse if not for the career-ending injury she suffered while vacationing in Mallorca. Even though we won’t be seeing her represent in women’s singles, it’s fun to speculate whether or not she’d medal.



No contest: Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games would blow away the rest of the competition as the individual archer to beat in this test of nerve and accuracy. We’re willing to bet that Katniss wouldn’t even need the forty seconds allotted to get all six arrows in the bullseye. Shame she'd have to use the regulation recurve bow instead of her own. But knowing Katniss, the equipment won’t faze her. It’s all about that glorious yellow target.


Rugby Sevens

Rugby sevens is a faster, shorter version of the typically fifteen-player sport. And who better to debut as the youngest player than 14-year-old Ryan Dean West from Andrew Smith’s Winger? Between being the youngest junior at his Oregon boarding school and the massive crush he has on his best friend Annie, Ryan Dean thinks of himself as a loser, a nobody. But he’s somebody to so many Americans, winning the hearts of fans across the nation as the team’s starting wing.