What is it about sport that holds us in such thrall? Why is it so profoundly important? In a beguiling journey from the Olympic Games in Athens to the World Cup finals in Germany - via the Ashes, the Ryder Cup, Wimbledon and almost every other sporting event - Simon Barnes, award-winning chief sportswriter for "The Times" ponders such matters as the intellectual genius of Wayne Rooney, the mythic nature of Steve Redgrave, the making of Andrew Flintoff. At every step he revels in sport's extraordinary resonance in the human mind and heart. He examines the iron grip that sport has on the world's imagination, and finds an unlikely group of heroes: Pete Sampras, Ellen MacArthur, Ben Johnson. In "The Meaning of Sport", Barnes asks the questions no one else asks and finds the answers no one else finds. Sport has never been understood like this: never been explained like this: never been celebrated like this.