XXII Olympiad

The Olympic Century

Book 20
Warwick Press Inc.
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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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Additional Information

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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Read Aloud
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”.
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