Ask most Olympians how their story begins and they will answer, "When I was young, I always dreamed of going to the Olympics. . ." Some will then go on to tell of their great athletic triumphs. Others will recall agonizing near-misses. But for most, the very fact that they reached the Games at all was a dream come true. For the Olympic Games offer athletes something few others sporting events can: the chance to be recognized as the best in the world at a chosen sport.
With stories of great triumphs and great tragedies, the Olympics not only embodies the competitive human spirit, but also sets a stage stage for foreign relations and politics. Historical references combined with amazing sports stories give this book both an educational and exciting appeal.
I thought since it was an Olympic year (at this writing Summer Olympics in Rio 2016), it would be nice to read some books on the Olympics or athletes of the Games.
I found this author's book which gave a nice overview of the Olympic Games (summer and Winter) starting at the original in 776 BC. up through what was going to be the Beijing Summer Olympics Games in 2008.
The author runs through a series of years in eleven chapters giving information about stand-out athletes and tidbits of information.
Did you know that the original games barred women? The reason? It was because they were naked! Whoa!
I actually loved the information the author presented. He did not shy away from problems that have arisen either, including: shootings, bombings, bashings, and doping. Yes, it was all in there.
He also included the changes throughout the years and the reasons for them. One major one was the Games not being in the same year.
As I have seen many of the Games over the years, I remember a lot of what he wrote. It was obvious to me that he did his homework before he wrote. The only disappointing thing for me was not having more photos included, there was eight total. I thought it would have been nice to see some of the actual photos on the pages where he would talk about certain athletes. I think middle grade kids, who would be reading this book, would have liked to have seen more too.
Overall, not a bad book and very informative. I give it 4 stars for its comprehensiveness.
Disclosure:I picked up a copy of this book from my local library. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. aka Naila Moon
Where to find the author: