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Lords of the Olympics [Kindle Edition]

John Bryant
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 39 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

London 2012. The British capital becomes the first city ever to have hosted the Olympic Games three times.

In this brilliant essay, John Bryant tells the story of London and the Olympic Games through three men. Lord Desborough, Lord Burghley and Lord Coe.

They were the Lords of the Olympics - the men who made the Games happen, often against impossible odds.

They were born simply William Grenfell, David Cecil and Sebastian Coe. But they were the founding fathers of Britain’s Olympic tradition – they became Lord Desborough, Lord Burghley and Lord Coe. All three of them brought the Olympics to London and each, in their own way, snatched triumph when the Games faced disaster and crisis.

They were there when nobody wanted the Games. And they were there when everyone wants the Olympics.

Lord Desborough, the perfect Edwardian sportsman - cricketer, sculler, fencer and huntsman – masterminded the Games in just two years when a near bankrupt Italy pulled out. He bequeathed the Edwardian concept of “play up, play up and play the game” which was to set the tone of international sport for seventy years.

Lord Burghley stepped in when two great wars ripped the world apart.There were no Olympics in 1940 or 1944, but again with just two years to go he demonstrated that that the Olympics were about sport and not war. Britain was almost bankrupt, rationing was rife, and bombsites littered the London landscape. But in these make do and mend Olympics, Lord Burghley and the indomitable sprit of London overcame every obstacle.

Lord Coe, one of the greatest middle-distance runners that Britain has ever produced, faced a different problem when he entered the race to bring the Olympics back to London. In a fiercely commercial word everyone wants the Games. He’s had to see off the threats of corrupt and unethical practices, the gift-giving and inflated budgets that have haunted recent bids to secure the Games.

'Lords of the Olympics' tells the story of London’s three Olympic Games through the character, the victories and defeats of the athletes themselves, and the part they have played in shaping the Olympic story.

The burden of delivery is heavy on the third of Britain’s Lords of the Olympics. Lord Coe knows that a third of the world’s population will be tuned in to see how Britain performs, not just in the medal table but in the legacy that he bequeaths to the future of the Olympic movement. He can draw inspiration and hope from Desborough and Burghley and have confidence to know that with London behind him, an Olympic Lord can do it again.

As a life-long athlete, Oxford Blue, country champion, British Universities student international, and coach to an Olympic athlete, John Bryant has an unrivalled insight into the world of athletics and the minds of runners. Since 1971, John Bryant has worked as a Fleet Street journalist where he was Editor of the Daily Telegraph, Deputy Editor of The Times and Consultant Editor of the Daily Mail. Currently he is chairman of the Press Association Trust and chairman of the London Marathon Trust. He is the biographer of Chris Brasher and lives in Kingston-on-Thames.

Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 130 KB
  • Print Length: 39 pages
  • Publisher: Endeavour Press Ltd. (7 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0081I8J7Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #502,755 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History and Legacy 10 May 2012
By Andy
Format:Kindle Edition
John Bryant has a produced a pacey, yet authoritative, short book on the history of the two Olympic games Britain hosted in the 20th century. His book focuses on Lord Desborough and Lord Exeter, the two men who arranged and shaped the 1908 and 1948 games. He finally brings things up to date by profiling Lord Coe too. Each "Lord" fascinates and earns our admiration, but for different reasons.

Bryant asserts than much has changed over the years in regards to the Olympics, but not always for the better. Commercialism has eroded some of the original purpose and spirit of the games. Bryant is not one to wish that the clock could be turned back to the Edwardian era, but he is right to condemn the cheating and shift that has occurred within the Olympics. The games now belong to sponsors as much as spectators it seems.
Lords of the Olympics is full of anecdotes and argument and, as much as people may talk about Britain's future legacy in regards to the games we should equally shine a light upon our past and feel proud.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative & Inspirational 13 May 2012
By Popps
Format:Kindle Edition
Lords of the Olympics opens us up to the different worlds in which Lord Desborough, Lord Burghley and Lord Coe tried to win and organise the Olympics for London. The book gives us insight into the challenges each faced in the particular period and the values that they embodied. Each is an inspiration, all having had successful sporting careers of their own and wanting to bring that love of sport to the nation. It really helps us understand the conflict between a pure love for sport and the commercialism that surrounds the Olympics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lesson from the Past 28 July 2012
By Miss S
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was really encouraging to read about the way in which so many people both from Britain and abroad banded together to help fund our first Olympics. Bryant opens a door to the past to show us how the games we know today got started and how sport really did bring nations together. If only we could take a leaf out of their book and more people could be excited about this unique worldwide event rather than worrying about money and politics, we could all enjoy the games a little more. With his matter-of-fact writing style, Bryant encourages us to do exactly that. A must-read for anyone, whether in support of the Olympics or not; if you haven't already found it, this book gives us something to aspire to. We should look to the past for inspiration for the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring history 28 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I was excited to read about these three great men who, today many would have forgotten or simply not know about their involvement in the Olympics. Not only did Desborough, Exeter and Coe save the Olympics but they helped to shape the attitudes and ideals that went along with these games over the years. It is nice to read about a time when playing sport shaped gentlemen rather than hooligans and competing against other nations gave us a sense of world unity, willed us to overcome prejudice and encouraged friendship rather than creating a divide. I loved reading about the athletes who became an inspiration throughout the history of the games and it's these people that we should be more focussed on promoting to our youth today!
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