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Athens to Athens: The Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC 1894-2004: The Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC, 1896-2004 (Official History of the Olympic Games & the Ioc) [Hardcover]

David Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

28 Oct 2003 Official History of the Olympic Games & the Ioc
ATHENS TO ATHENS is the first full account of the history of the Olympic Games, its administration and the myriad triumphs, disappointments and scandals that have befallen the event since its inception in 1894. ATHENS TO ATHENS tells the story of the historic competitors - from Spyridon Louis (the inaugural Marathon winner) and such heroes as Jim Thorpe, Paavo Nurmim, Sonja Heine, Jessie Owens, Fanny Blankers-Koen, Emil Zatopek, Herb Elliot, Kip Keino, Mark Spitz, Franz Klammer, Sebastian Coe, Greg Louganis and Carl Lewis, through to more recent medal winners including Steve Redgrave and Kathy Freeman. The twin evolutions of the IOC and the world's greatest sports festival unfold in alternate chapters, each of which begins with a personal reminiscene by either a famous champion or a notable IOC figure. Detailed background is provided to the many crises - the Nazi Games of 1936; the massacre at Mexico City in 1968; the Israeli slaughter by terrorists in 1972; the boycotts; the new commercialism from 1984 onwards; the advent of professionals from 1988 up to the Ben Johnson scandal and the ongoing threat of drug abuse. The credibility of the Games, and of the IOC, was rescued by the glory of Sydney 2000. Now the sporting world awaits, with eager expectation, the Games' return in 2004 to the country of their ancient origins. ATHENS TO ATHENS is the definitive document of one of the world's most famous sporting festivals and features many rare photographs from every era of the event, making it essential for all sporting enthusiasts.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (28 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840185872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840185874
  • Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 22.8 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,802,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

David Miller has been a journalist since 1956, covering 16 Summer and Winter Games. He was in the training squad for the British football team for Melbourne '56, failing to make the 'cut' for the fifteen who travelled. He is the author of biographies of Sebastian Coe and Juan Antonio Samaranch, and is joint author of THE HISTORY OF THE INTERNATIONAL ATHLETIC FEDERATION.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of information crammed in 2 April 2009
By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The first thing to be said about this goldmine of Olympic information is that in order to cram all the information into 528 large pages, it is printed using a small font size, which is even harder to read when italicized - and the first few paragraphs of each chapter, which contain comments by an official or athlete, are italicized. If you are concerned about eye-strain, either use a magnifying glass or only read for brief periods at a time. Actually, the nature of this book makes it ideal for dipping in and out of anyway.

The book begins with a foreword by Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, followed by a preface by the author. Neither of those contain italicized text, but the introduction, subtitled Survival, begins with italicized comments by Cathy Freeman. The idea that the Olympics are threatened with extinction seems far-fetched, but they are a political event as well as a sporting event, so I suppose nothing should be taken for granted. Corruption and scandal are never far away from the Olympics, but I'd be very surprised if they don't continue to appear every fourth year, as they have done since 1896. The original Olympics of ancient Greece died, but circumstances were very different then.

The first two chapters cover the ancient Greek Olympics and the development of the idea by Baron Pierre de Coubertin for reviving the Olympics. Chapter 3 covers the inaugural modern Olympics of 1896 and each Olympics thereafter (including the Winter Olympics) has its own chapter. Interspersed between the chapters on specific Olympics are other chapters, which generally look at what happened in the build-up or aftermath to the big events.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile, though challenging reading 7 April 2004
By Burnie Harner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A decent retrospective of over a century of Olympic history. It is not a smooth read, though, and you will need to take frequent breaks to rest your eyes due to the small type. I also noticed several errors in the statistical information in the back of the book, which the author claims was done by a third-party. It was still a worthwhile purchase and does enhance my Olympic library.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of information crammed in 2 April 2009
By Peter Durward Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The first thing to be said about this goldmine of Olympic information is that in order to cram all the information into 528 large pages, it is printed using a small font size, which is even harder to read when italicized - and the first few paragraphs of each chapter, which contain comments by an official or athlete, are italicized. If you are concerned about eye-strain, either use a magnifying glass or only read for brief periods at a time. Actually, the nature of this book makes it ideal for dipping in and out of anyway.

The book begins with a foreword by Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, followed by a preface by the author. Neither of those contain italicized text, but the introduction, subtitled Survival, begins with italicized comments by Cathy Freeman. The idea that the Olympics are threatened with extinction seems far-fetched, but they are a political event as well as a sporting event, so I suppose nothing should be taken for granted. Corruption and scandal are never far away from the Olympics, but I'd be very surprised if they don't continue to appear every fourth year, as they have done since 1896. The original Olympics of ancient Greece died, but circumstances were very different then.

The first two chapters cover the ancient Greek Olympics and the development of the idea by Baron Pierre de Coubertin for reviving the Olympics. Chapter 3 covers the inaugural modern Olympics of 1896 and each Olympics thereafter (including the Winter Olympics) has its own chapter. Interspersed between the chapters on specific Olympics are other chapters, which generally look at what happened in the build-up or aftermath to the big events. Major off-field episodes such as the 1980 boycott are thus kept apart from the sporting chapters, but the terrorist attack in 1972 happened during the Munich Olympics and are therefore included within that chapter. In the case of Ben Johnson, the 100 metres event itself, including a picture of the award ceremony, is covered in the Seoul 1988 chapter, but a separate chapter is dedicated to the subsequent fall-out.

There are extensive appendices, but by far the most interesting are Appendix B (results) and Appendix C (medal tables). So at a glance, you can see who won gold, silver and bronze in each event, or you can see the medal table for each Olympics covered. As the title suggests, this book covers the Olympics up to and including Athens 2004.

If you can put up with the small typeface, this official history of the Olympics is truly a goldmine of information, though you may prefer to buy a more recent edition such as The Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC: Athens to Beijing, 1894-2008 (Official History of the Olympic Games & the Ioc). Having already bought this one, I won't be in a hurry to buy it, since all the information I might need about subsequent Olympics should be available on the internet.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable, Practical and Definitive 29 Dec 2004
By L. Langer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book was purchased as a gift for an aspiring Beijing 2008 Olympic decathlete, and I was extremely pleased with its concise content, historical data, illustrations, and overall presentation.

A great reference book and a perfect "coffee-table" book. Thankyou.
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