XIX Olympiad

The Olympic Century

Book 17
Warwick Press Inc.
Free sample

The year 1968 is commonly remembered for the massive social and political upheaval occurring around the world at the time, but it was also the year of the Olympic Games of Mexico City. XIX Olympiad, the seventeenth volume in The American Century series, tells the story of one of the most exciting and controversial Olympics of the modern era.

In addition to being the first Olympics held in Latin America, the Mexico Games were also held at high altitude, a factor that likely contributed to the many record-breaking performances. Among these was Bob Beamon’s incredible gold-medal-winning 8.9-metre long jump, a record that would stand for 23 years, and Al Oerter’s fourth consecutive gold medal in discus, a first for a track athlete. In a reflection of the times, the book tells the story of American sprinters Tommie Smith (gold) and John Carlos (bronze) who created the iconic image of the Mexico Games when they famously raised their gloved fists in a black power salute on the medal podium.

The second part the book focuses on the 1972 Winter Games of Sapporo, Japan. Star athletes of Sapporo are profiled, like Galina Kulakova of the USSR, who won three golds in cross-country skiing, and Ard Schenk of Holland, who matched that feat in speed skating. It also tells the story of three Japanese ski-jumpers who became national heroes after sweeping the 70-metre event.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.

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Publisher
Warwick Press Inc.
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Published on
Nov 18, 2015
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Pages
601
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ISBN
9781987944167
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Language
English
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Genres
Sports & Recreation / Olympics & Paralympics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Summer Olympics of Munich 1972 were called “The Cheerful Games”, but that was before the spectre of terrorism marked them forever in the history of sport. XX Olympiad, the eighteenth volume in The Olympic Century series, recalls the tragic events in Munich, along with the many moments of triumph. The book recounts the 18-hour standoff between police and eight Palestinian terrorists who took 11 Israeli athletes and coaches hostage in the Olympic Village. All the hostages and three terrorists would die during the ordeal. The Games resumed after 24 hours, and the heroes of Munich emerged: American swimmer Mark Spitz, who would claim a then-record seven gold medals; Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut, who charmed the world in winning three golds; and a 15-year-old Australian named Shane Gould, who challenged Spitz in the pool with three gold-medal performances. The book also recounts the curious story of marathon winner Frank Shorter entering the stadium running behind an imposter who had joined the race in the final stages. The book then turns its focus to the 1976 Winter Games of Innsbruck, Austria. The book profiles athletes like Austrian favourite Franz Klammer, who won the downhill with a heart-stopping final run; US figure skater Dorothy Hamill, who won gold and sparked a worldwide trend in hairstyles; and West German skier Rosi Mittermaier, who missed out on winning three golds by just 0.13 seconds. Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.
XXI Olympiad, the nineteenth volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with the story of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal Canada. In the wake of the terrorist tragedy that marred the Munich Olympics four years earlier, Montreal is remembered for the athletic performances of the athletes.

Despite a boycott staged by several African nations to protest the policy of apartheid in South Africa, the Montreal Games produced a bevy of international stars. The book profiles memorable athletes like 14-year-old Nadia Comaneci of Romania, who posted an unprecedented seven perfect-10 scores in winning gymnastic gold; and Japanese gymnast Shun Fujimoto, who performed his final event with a broken knee to help the Japanese team win team gold. Other notable participants in Montreal included decathlon winner Bruce Jenner; Princess Anne of Great Britain, who competed in equestrian events; and racewalker Alex Oakley of Canada, who became the oldest-ever Olympic track competitor at age 50.

The second part of the book focuses on the Winter Olympics of 1980, held in Lake Placid, N.Y. It tells the story of the “Miracle on Ice”, the gold medal victory of the amateur US hockey team over the mighty Soviets, ending a run of hockey golds for the USSR extending back to 1960. Other athletes profiled include American speed skater Eric Heiden, who remains the only athlete to win five gold medals at one Winter Olympics, and skier Hanni Wenzel, who claimed the only two gold medals ever for tiny Liechtenstein.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.

The Olympics are meant to be a celebration of sportsmanship and fellowship among nations, but they have sometimes fell short of that goal. XXII Olympiad, the twentieth volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with the story of one of the most politicized Games ever held: Moscow 1980. In December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, prompting the United States to lead a 65-nation boycott of the Moscow Games. In spite of the absence of many of the world’s great athletes, Moscow still produced legendary Olympic champions, like the great Cuban heavyweight Teofilo Stevenson, who became the first boxer to win three consecutive gold medals; and the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, who added two golds and two silvers in Moscow to take her personal medal total to 12. The absence of many top athletes also opened the door for others to make history, like sprinter Allan Wells, who won the first gold medal in the 100 metres for Great Britain since 1924. The book then turns its focus to the 1984 Winter Games of Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. It profiles the most dominant athlete of those Games, Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi of Finland, who won all three individual golds in cross-country skiing. Sarajevo also saw the British ice dancing pair Torvil and Dean post perfect scores for artistic impression in their gold-medal performance, a feat never duplicated; as well as the participation of the first black African Olympic skier, Lamine Gueye of Senegal. Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.
XXIII Olympiad, the twenty-first volume in The Olympic Century series, tells the story of how Los Angeles overcame Cold War posturing to make Olympic history.

In retaliation for the US-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the Soviet Union and 16 other Eastern Bloc countries declined to attend the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. But in spite of the absence of some of the world’s best athletes, Los Angeles produced many memorable Olympic champions. The book profiles Carl Lewis, who matched the great Jesse Owens with four golds in track and field; and Carlos Lopes, who won the first-ever gold medal for Portugal and set a record in the marathon that would last 24 years. The L.A. Games also saw the debut of women’s marathon, synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics, as well as the dominant performance of the US “Dream Team”, which thrilled basketball fans around the world.

Following Los Angeles, the book explores the Winter Olympics of 1988, held in Calgary, Canada. Heroes of Calgary profiled include Italian skier Alberto Tomba, who won two golds; Katarina Witt of East Germany, who won her second consecutive gold in figure skating; and the unlikely ski-jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards of Great Britain, who became a huge fan favourite. In the marque event of the Games, American Brian Boitano beat out Canadian Brian Orser by one-tenth of a point for figure skating gold.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.

XXIV Olympiad, the twenty-second volume in The Olympic Century series, tells the story of the 1988 Summer Olympics of Seoul, Korea. The second Olympics held in Asia would be the last for perennial sporting powerhouses the Soviet Union and East Germany, which ceased to exist before the next Olympiad.

The book gives a detailed account of the most infamous episode from Seoul, which saw Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson achieve a dramatic win in the men’s 100 metres only to have his gold medal stripped away for failing a post-race drug test. The book also profiles heroes of Seoul like Christa Luding-Rothenburger of East Germany, who became the only athlete to ever win gold in both Winter (speed skating in Calgary) and Summer (cycling) Games in the same year; and swimmer Anthony Nesty, who won Suriname’s only Olympic medal and became the first male black swimmer to win individual gold.

The second part of the book focuses on the 1992 Winter Olympics of Albertville, France. Albertville was the last Winter Games to be held in the same year as the Summer Games, and mogul skiing, short-track speed skating and women’s biathlon made their Olympic debuts. The book profiles stars of Albertville like 16-year-old Finnish ski jumper Toni Nieminen, who became the youngest ever male gold medalist at the Winter Games; and Annelise Coberger of New Zealand, who won silver in the women’s slalom to become the first Winter Olympic medalist from the southern hemisphere.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.

The III Olympiad, the fourth volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with the first Olympic Games held outside Europe – the St. Louis Games of 1904.

The St. Louis Games are set against the backdrop of a much larger concurrent event, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, also known as the St. Louis World’s Fair, which featured displays and demonstrations of art, culture and technology from around the world. Despite this distraction, the St. Louis Games still produced its share of memorable Olympic champions. There is the story of the gymnast George Eyser, who won six medals in one day in spite of his wooden leg; the sprinter Archie Hahn, who won three golds and set a record in the 200 metres that would stand for 28 years; and two Tswana tribesmen, in St. Louis for the Exposition, who competed in the marathon and thus became the first black African Olympians.

The focus then turns to Athens 1906, also known as the Intercalated Games, which were held only once. The book tells the story of the American Ray Ewry, who added two golds in Athens to extend his Olympic total to eight from three Games; Billy Sherring of Canada, the unlikely winner of the marathon, who raised the money to travel to Greece at the horse races; and Peter O’Connor of Ireland, who won gold and silver competing reluctantly for Great Britain, then scaled the stadium flagpole to hoist the Irish flag.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.

The IX Olympiad, the ninth volume in The Olympic Century series, begins by exploring the Summer Games of Amsterdam, 1928, the first to feature the Olympic flame as well as the first to include track and field and gymnastics competitions for women.

Well established as the world’s greatest festival of sport, the Olympic Games rose to new heights in Amsterdam. The book tells the story of Olympic heroes like Paavo Nurmi, the legendary Finnish distance runner, who claimed one more gold medal in 1928 to take his personal total to nine from three Olympics; and the Canadian sprinter Percy Williams, who claimed the title of world’s fastest man with golds in both the 100- and 200-metres. Amsterdam also saw the triumph of triple-jumper Mikio Oda of Japan, who became the first gold medalist from Asia; and American double-gold swimmer Johnny Weismuller, who would go on to star in Hollywood as Tarzan the Ape Man.

Following the Amsterdam Games, the focus turns to Lake Placid, N.Y., and the Winter Games of 1932. The book tells the story of athletes like American speed-skater Irving Jaffee, who lunged for gold in a thrilling photo finish in the 10,000-metres; Sonja Henie of Sweden, who would claim her second of three consecutive figure skating titles; and American Eddie Eagan, who would add a team gold in four-man bobsleigh to his gold in boxing won in the Antwerp Olympics 12 years earlier.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.

The X Olympiad, the tenth volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with the Games of Los Angeles, 1932. With the entire world locked in the depths of the Great Depression, the book describes the thrills of the world’s greatest festival of sport played out against the backdrop of Hollywood’s Golden Era.

With famous movie stars watching from the stands of the legendary Memorial Coliseum, the 1932 Olympics created its own cast of legends. The book tells the story of Babe Didrikson, perhaps the greatest female athlete of the 20th Century, who won two golds and one silver in track and field in Los Angeles before going on to even greater fame as a pro golfer; Kusuo Kitamma of Japan, not yet 15, who became, and remains, the youngest ever Olympic swimming champion; and the American swimmer Buster Crabbe, who won gold in the pool and later went on to Hollywood stardom in the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s and 40s.

Following Los Angeles, the focus of the book shifts to 1936 and the Winter Olympics in Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany, the first to feature Alpine, as well as Nordic, skiing events. Against the backdrop of Hitler’s rising Third Reich, the book follows the exploits of athletes like Sweden’s Sonja Henie as she claims her third consecutive figure skating gold; and the unlikely British ice hockey team, which upset the dominant Canadians in their quest for a fifth-straight Olympic gold.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.

In the terrible years leading up to and encompassing World War II, the Olympic movement endured a forced hiatus that lasted 12 long years. The London Games of 1948 marked the end of that dark period, and signaled the beginning of a whole new Olympic era.

The XIV Olympiad, the twelfth volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with what were known as the Austerity Games due to post-war rationing. In spite of the banishment of Germany and Japan and the absence of the USSR, the 1948 Games played host to a then-record 59 nations, and were the first Games broadcast on television. The book shines a light on Olympic heroes like Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands; dubbed “The Flying Housewife”, the 30-year-old mother of two won an incredible four golds in track in London. On the men’s side, the star was Veikko Huhtanen, leader of the dominant Finnish gymnastics team, who claimed three golds, one silver, and one bronze.

In the second part of the book, the focus shifts to Oslo, Norway and the 1952 Winter Olympics, where the star attraction was a local truck driver named Hjalmar Andersen who took three of four gold medals in speed-skating. The West Germans also returned to the Olympic fold, winning both the two- and four-man bobsleigh events, and a diminutive American figure skater named Dick Button performed the first triple jump in international competition to take gold.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.

The Summer Olympics of Munich 1972 were called “The Cheerful Games”, but that was before the spectre of terrorism marked them forever in the history of sport. XX Olympiad, the eighteenth volume in The Olympic Century series, recalls the tragic events in Munich, along with the many moments of triumph. The book recounts the 18-hour standoff between police and eight Palestinian terrorists who took 11 Israeli athletes and coaches hostage in the Olympic Village. All the hostages and three terrorists would die during the ordeal. The Games resumed after 24 hours, and the heroes of Munich emerged: American swimmer Mark Spitz, who would claim a then-record seven gold medals; Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut, who charmed the world in winning three golds; and a 15-year-old Australian named Shane Gould, who challenged Spitz in the pool with three gold-medal performances. The book also recounts the curious story of marathon winner Frank Shorter entering the stadium running behind an imposter who had joined the race in the final stages. The book then turns its focus to the 1976 Winter Games of Innsbruck, Austria. The book profiles athletes like Austrian favourite Franz Klammer, who won the downhill with a heart-stopping final run; US figure skater Dorothy Hamill, who won gold and sparked a worldwide trend in hairstyles; and West German skier Rosi Mittermaier, who missed out on winning three golds by just 0.13 seconds. Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.
XXI Olympiad, the nineteenth volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with the story of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal Canada. In the wake of the terrorist tragedy that marred the Munich Olympics four years earlier, Montreal is remembered for the athletic performances of the athletes.

Despite a boycott staged by several African nations to protest the policy of apartheid in South Africa, the Montreal Games produced a bevy of international stars. The book profiles memorable athletes like 14-year-old Nadia Comaneci of Romania, who posted an unprecedented seven perfect-10 scores in winning gymnastic gold; and Japanese gymnast Shun Fujimoto, who performed his final event with a broken knee to help the Japanese team win team gold. Other notable participants in Montreal included decathlon winner Bruce Jenner; Princess Anne of Great Britain, who competed in equestrian events; and racewalker Alex Oakley of Canada, who became the oldest-ever Olympic track competitor at age 50.

The second part of the book focuses on the Winter Olympics of 1980, held in Lake Placid, N.Y. It tells the story of the “Miracle on Ice”, the gold medal victory of the amateur US hockey team over the mighty Soviets, ending a run of hockey golds for the USSR extending back to 1960. Other athletes profiled include American speed skater Eric Heiden, who remains the only athlete to win five gold medals at one Winter Olympics, and skier Hanni Wenzel, who claimed the only two gold medals ever for tiny Liechtenstein.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.

The Olympics are meant to be a celebration of sportsmanship and fellowship among nations, but they have sometimes fell short of that goal. XXII Olympiad, the twentieth volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with the story of one of the most politicized Games ever held: Moscow 1980. In December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, prompting the United States to lead a 65-nation boycott of the Moscow Games. In spite of the absence of many of the world’s great athletes, Moscow still produced legendary Olympic champions, like the great Cuban heavyweight Teofilo Stevenson, who became the first boxer to win three consecutive gold medals; and the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, who added two golds and two silvers in Moscow to take her personal medal total to 12. The absence of many top athletes also opened the door for others to make history, like sprinter Allan Wells, who won the first gold medal in the 100 metres for Great Britain since 1924. The book then turns its focus to the 1984 Winter Games of Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. It profiles the most dominant athlete of those Games, Marja-Liisa Kirvesniemi of Finland, who won all three individual golds in cross-country skiing. Sarajevo also saw the British ice dancing pair Torvil and Dean post perfect scores for artistic impression in their gold-medal performance, a feat never duplicated; as well as the participation of the first black African Olympic skier, Lamine Gueye of Senegal. Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.
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