The Armchair Olympian: How Much Do You Know About Sport's Biggest Competition?

A&C Black
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Billed as the greatest sporting show on earth, the Olympic Games have produced countless memorable stories of achievement and endurance since entering the "modern" era in 1896.

The major sports take a back seat - some of them long gone from the schedule - as sports fans discover new heroes excelling in obscure events that intrigue.

The Games deliver triumph and heartbreak, serial winners and one-medal wonders, shocks and controversies - and tragedy in the true sense of the word rather than the often diluted sporting interpretation.

For just over two weeks every four years handball and hockey, sailing and shooting, judo and gymnastics become prime time news. And the word "repechage" is common currency.

The Armchair Olympian uses trivia, teasers, illustrations and quotes to recapture the magic of the story so far.
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About the author

Phil Ascough is a freelance writer with too many years' experience of
sports writing and business journalism to mention. He is the author of Kissing the Badge: How much do you know about 20 years of the Premier League?
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Additional Information

Publisher
A&C Black
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Published on
Apr 2, 2012
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9781408165065
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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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The IV Olympiad of the Modern Era was scheduled to take place in Rome in 1908, but the eruption of Mount Vesuvius two years prior to the Games threw Italy into economic chaos, forcing Rome to withdraw as host. The IV Olympiad, the fifth volume in The Olympic Century series, tells the story of how the city of London stepped up and sustained the modern Olympic movement in a time of crisis.

The book explores how, with typical British resilience, Londoners took on the challenge of planning the world’s greatest festival of sport, in spite of having less than half the normal time to prepare. Scheduled in conjunction with the Franco-British Exhibition, the Games of 1908 were the longest in Olympic history, running from April to October, and featured events like speed boat racing, dueling with pistols and figure skating. Heroes of the 1908 London Games included 60-year-old Oscar Swahn of Sweden who became, and remains, the oldest ever Olympic champion; John Taylor, the first black Olympic medalist; and Dorando Pietri of Italy, who fell five times from exhaustion on the last lap of the marathon but still managed to finish the race through sheer force of will.

The book concludes with the story of Elwood Brown, an American college basketball coach who journeyed to the Philippines to work as an organizer for the YMCA and became a pivotal figure in the growth of sport and the Olympic movement in Asia.

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

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
Acclaimed sports journalist Jack McCallum delivers the untold story of the greatest team ever assembled: the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team. As a writer for Sports Illustrated, McCallum enjoyed a courtside seat for the most exciting basketball spectacle on earth, covering the Dream Team from its inception to the gold medal ceremony in Barcelona. Drawing on fresh interviews with the players, McCallum provides the definitive account of the Dream Team phenomenon. He offers a behind-the-scenes look at the controversial selection process. He takes us inside the team’s Olympic suites for late-night card games and bull sessions where superstars like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird debated the finer points of basketball. And he narrates a riveting account of the legendary intrasquad scrimmage that pitted the Dream Teamers against one another in what may have been the greatest pickup game in history. In the twenty years since the Dream Team first captivated the world, its mystique has only grown. Dream Team vividly re-creates the moment when a once-in-a-millennium group of athletes came together and changed the future of sports—one perfectly executed fast break at a time.
 
With a new Afterword by the author.
 
“The absolute definitive work on the subject, a perfectly wonderful once-you-pick-it-up-you-won’t-be-able-to-put-it-down book.”—The Boston Globe
 
“An Olympic hoops dream.”—Newsday
 
“What makes this volume a must-read for nostalgic hoopsters are the robust portraits of the outsize personalities of the participants, all of whom were remarkably open with McCallum, both then and now.”—Booklist (starred review)
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