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The Complete Book of the Olympics [Paperback]

David Wallechinsky , Jaime Loukey
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 2008 Complete Book of the Olympics
Contained within the pages of this encyclopaedic book is anything anyone could ever need or want to know about the modern Olympic Games. It provides a complete statistical record since the founding of the modern Games in 1896 - from medals won to times, distances or scores recorded by the top eight competitors in all events, whether they be Olympic staples such as the marathon or long-discontinued competitions such as Olympic croquet or the tug of war. But this is much more than a dry compendium of names, numbers and scoring systems. It also contains a summary history of each event at each of the 26 modern Games enriched with an extraordinary wealth of Olympic lore and anecdote. David Wallechinsky and Jaime Loucky provide thought-provoking analysis of issues and controversies from shamateurism to drug-taking and corruption and they have sieved through more than a century of Olympic history to assemble a mind-boggling collection of stories that range from the inspiring, through the comic to the bizarre. Here you can read about long-forgotten characters such as the boy who was plucked from the streets of Paris to act as cox for two Dutch oarsmen in the paired-oar event in 1900 and, after steering them to victory and a Gold Medal, returned to obscurity, his name unknown to this day, or the 72-year-old winner of a silver medal for target-shooting. In short this is the essential companion to the greatest sporting festival in the world. David Wallechinsky was introduced to the Olympics when his father, the novelist Irving Wallace, took him to the 1960 Games in Rome. He has since produced seven editions of this book plus four editions of its companion volume, The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics, latterly in collaboration with his nephew, Jaime Loucky, together with many other reference books.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1120 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; 2008 Ed edition (1 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845133307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845133306
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 645,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Perhaps the most indispensable book about the Games." "--The Wall Street Journal"

About the Author

David Wallechinsky was introduced to the Olympics when his father, the novelist Irving Wallace, took him to the 1960 Games in Rome. He has since produced seven editions of this book plus four editions of its companion volume, The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics, latterly in collaboration with his nephew, Jaime Loucky, together with many other reference books.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Book of the Olympics 22 May 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For many years David Wallechinsky has produced his quadrennial publication in the months prior to each summer Olympic Games. For anybody seriously interested in the Games it is quite simply invaluable. The 2004 edition - more than 200 pages longer than the 2000 version - contains comprehensive results for every summer Olympic final since 1896, including discontinued events, medal tables for each Games, and tables of Olympic trivia (most medals, oldest and youngest medallists etc). As if this wasn't enough, there is also a brief history of the Games (ancient and modern), articles about issues facing the Games (e.g. drugs and corruption) and, perhaps most interestingly of all, scores of fascinating anecdotes about Olympic competitors and controversies at the Games. Do you know which American swimmer was wined and dined by the Nazis after being expelled from her team for bad behaviour? Or which woman has won 18 Olympic medals? Mr Wallechinsky tells their stories and many, many, many more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A champion book 17 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If, like me, you love the Olympic Games - I've been suffering withdrawal symptoms since the closing ceremony - this book is a must for you. Not only do you get the top eight finishers in every modern Olympic event from the first Games in 1896 up to Altanta 1996, you get thousands of the stories behind the events. Wallechinsky's tales of the winners - and plenty of the unlucky losers too - from a century of Olympics make fascinating reading. Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell, Jesse Owens, Mark Spitz, the all-conquering (chemically enhanced) East German female swimmers of 1976 and 1980, Daley Thompson, Mary Decker's fateful collision with Zola Budd, the disgrace of Ben Johnson - their stories are all told, as are those of unsung athletes who embody the spirit of 'not for the winning but the taking part'. Did you know that croquet, golf and rugby were once Olympic sports? - It's true - read all about it here. The ugly face of Olympic politics gets a thorough examination too - Hitler's attempt to use the 1936 games for propaganda purposes, the Black Power demonstrators of 1968, the boycotts that blighted three successive Games. Wallechinsky tackles all these issues head on, plus the growing problem of drugs and the notorious corruption within the IOC that came to light a couple of years back. If it's about the Olympics, it's in this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Definitive reference 6 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There isn't much to say about this - except for that at the time of writing, there may be a 2012 edition, which will update from the last 2004 Olympics which is covered in this particular edition.

A complete reference book, this gives every result of every event - current and discontinued - in Olympic history. Sensibly laid out, contained within are interesting descriptions and background reading on each event, with more time dedicated to notable results (for example, long passages on Ben Johnson's drug-fuelled 1988 100m sprint, and the 1996 'Magnificent Seven' female gymnastic team). These passages themselves are well-sourced and rich in insight.

Indispensable for Olympic fans and stats-buffs alike.
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