XXII Olympiad

The Olympic Century

Book 20
Warwick Press Inc.
Free sample

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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Publisher
Warwick Press Inc.
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Published on
Nov 18, 2015
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Pages
642
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ISBN
9781987944198
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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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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”.

XXV Olympiad, the twenty-third volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with the story of the Barcelona Summer Games of 1992. The Barcelona Games were the first without boycotts since 1972, and played host to a wealth of nations participating for the first time. The book explores how the Barcelona Games reflected a rapidly changing world. With the devolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Barcelona played host to teams from the Baltic States and to a “Unified Team” made up of athletes from the former Soviet republics. The former member states of Yugoslavia participated as independent nations, and South Africa was welcomed back into the Olympic fold for the first time since 1960. The book also profiles heroes of Barcelona like the Chinese diver Fu Mingxia, who became the youngest-ever Olympic gold medalist at age 13; and Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus, who won four golds in artistic gymnastics in a single day. Following Barcelona, the book turns its focus to the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, the first Winter Games not held in the same year as the Summer Games. Lillehammer featured aerial skiing as a full event for the first time, and saw Australia win its first ever Winter Olympic medal. The book also tells the story of the drama swirling around the women’s figure skating competition, where Americans Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding battled with eventual gold-medal winner Oksana Baiul of Ukraine. Juan Antonio Samaranch, former President of the International Olympic Committee, called The Olympic Century, “The most comprehensive history of the Olympic games ever published”.
XXVI Olympiad, the twenty-fourth volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with the celebration of the centenary of the modern Olympic movement at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games. Atlanta played host to a then-record 197 nations, many of which did not exist when the modern Olympics began in 1896.

The Atlanta Games were an Olympics of firsts: they were the first Summer Games since 1920 that were not celebrated in the same year as the Winter Games, and 14 nations would win their first-ever Olympic medal in Atlanta. The book profiles heroes of the Games like sprinter Deon Hemming, who won the first ever gold medal for Jamaica, and the US women’s soccer team, which claimed gold in the first Olympic tournament for women in that sport. Other athletes profiled include Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey, who won the dramatic 100-metre final in a world record time of 9.84 seconds, then went on to add another gold in the 4x100 relay. The book also recounts the tragic bombing of Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta during the Games that killed two people and injured 111 others.

Following Atlanta, the book explores the 1998 Winter Games of Nagano, Japan. It profiles stars like 15-year-old American figure skater Tara Lipinski, who became the youngest ever Winter Olympic champion in an individual event, and Norwegian cross-country skier Bjorn Daehlie, who won three golds to take his personal total to eight from three Games.

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 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”.
XV Olympiad, the thirteenth volume in The Olympic Century series, tells the story of 1952 Summer Olympic Games of Helsinki, Finland. The Helsinki Games were the first for the Peoples’ Republic of China, Israel and the USSR, and set a record for most world records broken at a single Olympics that would stand until 2008.

The book profiles heroes of Helsinki like Bob Mathias of the U.S., who defended his decathlon title from the 1948 London Games; the distance runner Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia, who claimed three golds including the marathon; and Josy Barthel, who became the first and only gold medal winner from Luxembourg with his triumph in the 1500 metres. In team sports, the legendary “Magic Magyars” of Hungary claimed gold in soccer.

The second part of the book focuses on the Winter Olympics of 1956, held in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, which boasted the most events ever held at a Winter Games. With televisions now common in homes in most advanced countries, Cortina d’Ampezzo was also the first Olympics viewed by a wide global audience, boosting the popularity of the Games to a new level. Heroes of Cortina like the Austrian skier Toni Sailer, who swept all three alpine events, became household names, and the world got its first glimpse of the mighty Soviet hockey team, which went on to win five of the next six Olympic gold medals.

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

Rome had been selected to host the 1908 Olympic Games, but the impact of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906 on the Italian economy forced the Eternal City to withdraw. Rome would finally get a second chance to host the world’s premier sporting festival in 1960, and XVII Olympiad, the fifteenth volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with the story of those Games.

The 1960 Olympics were the first summer Games to be broadcast in North America, sparking massive interest in both the host city and the athletes. The book profiles heroes of Rome like the American sprinter Wilma Rudolph, who overcame childhood polio to become a triple-gold medal winner, and the young boxer Cassius Clay, who would win Olympic gold before going on to untold fame as heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali. Rome also saw the emergence of the powerful Japanese men’s gymnastics team, which began an unprecedented streak of five team golds, and produced the indelible image of Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila winning the marathon in bare feet.

Following Rome, the focus of the book shifts to Austria, and the 1964 Winter Games in the mountain town of Innsbruck. The sport of luge made its Olympic debut in 1964, and Russian speed skater Lidia Skobilkova cemented her place in Olympic history by winning all four women’s events. The book also profiles the Goitschen sisters of France, who finished first and second in both slalom and giant slalom.

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 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, were unique in several respects: they were the first Games held outside Europe or North America, as well as the first held in the southern hemisphere. The XVI Olympiad, the fourteenth volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with the story of Melbourne 1956, known as “The Friendly Games”.

The book profiles the heroes of Melbourne, like the 18-year-old Australian sprinter Betty Cuthbert, the “Golden Girl,” who claimed gold in the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay; and the American Bobby Morrow who mirrored Cuthbert’s achievements on the men’s side. There were also unlikely winners, like Ronnie Delany of Ireland, who held off the powerful Americans to claim gold in the 1500 metres. The book also explores how Cold War tensions surfaced in Melbourne in disputes over officiating, and most violently in water polo, where Hungary and Russia engaged in what became known as the “Blood in the Water Match.”

Following Melbourne, the book turns its focus to Squaw Valley, California, and the Winter Games of 1960. Squaw Valley saw the Olympic debut of the biathlon and women’s speed skating, along with technological innovations like artificial ice surfaces, instant replay and results tabulated by computer. The book also recounts the story of the plucky American ice hockey team, made up of college players, which defeated the experienced Canadians and dominant Russians to claim 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”.

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”.

XXV Olympiad, the twenty-third volume in The Olympic Century series, begins with the story of the Barcelona Summer Games of 1992. The Barcelona Games were the first without boycotts since 1972, and played host to a wealth of nations participating for the first time. The book explores how the Barcelona Games reflected a rapidly changing world. With the devolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Barcelona played host to teams from the Baltic States and to a “Unified Team” made up of athletes from the former Soviet republics. The former member states of Yugoslavia participated as independent nations, and South Africa was welcomed back into the Olympic fold for the first time since 1960. The book also profiles heroes of Barcelona like the Chinese diver Fu Mingxia, who became the youngest-ever Olympic gold medalist at age 13; and Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus, who won four golds in artistic gymnastics in a single day. Following Barcelona, the book turns its focus to the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, the first Winter Games not held in the same year as the Summer Games. Lillehammer featured aerial skiing as a full event for the first time, and saw Australia win its first ever Winter Olympic medal. The book also tells the story of the drama swirling around the women’s figure skating competition, where Americans Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding battled with eventual gold-medal winner Oksana Baiul of Ukraine. 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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