Writing with the same admixture of philosophical inquiry, aesthetic curiosity, wacky word-play, quick-witted word portrait, and irreverent humor that is threaded through all of his work, Phil Cousineau has created a modern chrestomathy that reflects his dual passion for learning and teaching. The Accidental Aphorist: A Curiosity Cabinet of Aphorisms, Maxims, Epigrams, Pochades and PensEes, Gnomic Sayings, Laconics, Notebook Jottings, Back Thoughts, and Afterthoughts, is meant to stoke and provoke, jolt and cajole the idling imagination.
Reaching far back to the mythic and historic origins of the Games nearly 3,000 years ago, Cousineau examines the driving motivation behind these first ancient gatherings, which was peaceful competition in an atmosphere of fair play and brotherhood, as well as the pursuit of excellence in mind, body, and spirit. And following through to the present day, he describes how these same ideals still compel coaches, athletes, and fans to sports arenas today, despite obstacles with doping and bribery we occasionally find in the modern Games.
A collector’s dream, this book contains ancient and contemporary illustrations, historic facts, anecdotes, famous quotes, and interviews with Olympic athletes, including three-time medalist Sarunas Marciulionis of Lithuania and legendary swimmer Matt Biondi. Also featured are excerpts from Cousineau’s interviews about the cultural role of sports with mythologist Joseph Campbell and religious historian Huston Smith.The Olympic Odyssey is written for all fans of the game of life who esteem true leadership, aspire to personal wholeness, and seriously question the cultural obsession with winning at all costs. Ultimately, it suggests the deepest reason we so love great athletes is for how they encourage us to achieve the highest level of being possible in our own lives, no matter what the arena in which we play.