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SPORTS HISTORY > OLYMPICS

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments This is a thread to discuss the history of the Olympics.


Alisa (MsTaz) | 5301 comments It's on my to-read list, looks like a great book.
Triumph  The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics by Jeremy Schaap by Jeremy Schaap Jeremy Schaap

From the ESPN national correspondent and author of the New York Times bestseller Cinderella Man comes the remarkable behind-the-scenes story of a defining moment in sports and world history.

In 1936, against a backdrop of swastikas flying and a storm troopers goose-stepping, an African-American son of sharecroppers won a staggering four Olympic gold medals and single-handedly crushed Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy. The story of Jesse Owens at the 1936 games is that of a high-profile athlete giving a perfomance that transcends sports. But it is also the intimate and complex tale of the courage of one remarkable man.

Drawing on unprecedented access to the Owens family, previously unpublished interviews, and exhaustive archival research, Jeremy Schaap transports us to Nazi Germany to weave this dramatic tale. From the start, American participation in the 1936 games was controversial. A boycott was afoot, based on reports of Nazi hostility to Jews, but was thwarted by the president of the American Olympic Committee, who dismissed the actions of the Third Reich as irrelevant. At the games themselves the subplots and intrigue continued: Owens was befriended by a German rival, broad jumper Luz Long, who, legend has it, helped Owens win the gold medal at his own expense. Two Jewish sprinters were denied the chance to compete for the United States at the last possible moment, most likely out of misguided deference to the Nazi hosts. And a myth was born that Hitler had snubbed Owens by failing to congratulate him.

With his trademark incisive reporting and rich storytelling gifts, Schaap reveals what really transpired over those tense, exhilarating few weeks someseventy years ago. In the end, Triumph is a triumph -- a page-turning narrative that illuminates what happens when sports and the geopolitics collide on a world stage.


Alisa (MsTaz) | 5301 comments Another book, this one pertaining to a vignette of three athletes in the Helsinki Olypmics in 1952.

The Perfect Mile  Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It by Neal Bascomb by Neal Bascomb

There was a time when running the mile in four minutes was believed to be beyond the limits of human foot speed, and in all of sport it was the elusive holy grail. In 1952, after suffering defeat at the Helsinki Olympics, three world-class runners each set out to break this barrier. Roger Bannister was a young English medical student who epitomized the ideal of the amateur — still driven not just by winning but by the nobility of the pursuit. John Landy was the privileged son of a genteel Australian family, who as a boy preferred butterfly collecting to running but who trained relentlessly in an almost spiritual attempt to shape his body to this singular task. Then there was Wes Santee, the swaggering American, a Kansas farm boy and natural athlete who believed he was just plain better than everybody else.

Spanning three continents and defying the odds, their collective quest captivated the world and stole headlines from the Korean War, the atomic race, and such legendary figures as Edmund Hillary, Willie Mays, Native Dancer, and Ben Hogan. In the tradition of Seabiscuit and Chariots of Fire, Neal Bascomb delivers a breathtaking story of unlikely heroes and leaves us with a lasting portrait of the twilight years of the golden age of sport.


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Thanks for the adds Alisa - to get this thread going.


Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments Alisa wrote: "Another book, this one pertaining to a vignette of three athletes in the Helsinki Olypmics in 1952. ..."

The Perfect Mile  Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It by Neal Bascomb by Neal Bascomb

I read this one a few years ago, and I recommend it. It did a nice job covering the athletes both personally and their running goals. Interesting, informative, and well-balanced.


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments Thanks Elizabeth S


message 7: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 10535 comments I loved The Perfect Mile  Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It by Neal BascombNeal Bascomb; great add.

This is on my "to read" list:

Nazi Games  The Olympics of 1936 by David Clay LargeDavid Clay Large

Publisher's Weekly:
he year 1936 saw "the Nazi's first big international show-their coming-out party on the world stage," when Berlin hosted the summer Olympics. In this comprehensive examination of the 1936 Olympic Games, historian Large explores everything from Berlin's bid to secure the games-amongst much political jockeying and threats of international boycott-to politicized training regimes, shocking mistreatment of Jewish and black athletes and, finally, the tense contest itself. What emerges is a captivating, chilling portrait of the Nazi propaganda machine, the international response to it and the swirl of global forces that would soon plunge the world back into war. Featuring highly detailed research drawn from a number of primary accounts (including "fresh materials" from the International Olympic Committee), this history may wade in a few steps deeper than some readers will care to go; still, as a unique look at both the Third Reich and the Olympics, this should hold great interest for aficionados of WWII and avid fans of the Games.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


message 8: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 10535 comments Here is a general history:
The Olympics  A HISTORY OF THE MODERN GAMES (2D ED.) (Illinois History of Sports) by Allen Guttmann by Allen Guttmann

Library Journal:
n the film Chariots of Fire (1981), a prejudiced Olympic official states, "That's a matter for the committee!" Here, Guttmann chronicles the ambitions and backroom maneuvering of the International Olympic Committee and the nationalism that is, in reality, the summer games. The author's premise is that politics have been at the foundation of the modern Olympics from its inception in Athens (1896) to Seoul (1988). Gold, silver, and bronze medals have shared the victory stand with nationalism, and have even been tarnished by arrogance, protests, terrorists, and boycotts. Although the text emphasizes the political and socioeconomic climate of the Olympics, it also contains memorable accounts of athletic competition. This book, intended for the serious nonspecialist reader, will be a valuable addition to both general and specialized collections, particularly in this Olympic year.
- Albert Spencer, Coll. of Education, Univ. of Nevada-Las Vegas
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Alisa (MsTaz) | 5301 comments Feel No Fear: The Power, Passion, and Politics of a Life in Gymnastics

Feel No Fear  The Power, Passion, and Politics of a Life in Gymnastics by Bela Karolyi by Bela Karolyi

Synopsis
The controversial gymnastics coach shares his own personal story of a life in gymnastics, detailing his career in his communist homeland, clashes with Romanian secret police, defection, and work with such stars as Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton. Reprint.


message 10: by Alisa (last edited May 19, 2013 09:56AM) (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5301 comments The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

The Boys in the Boat  Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown by Daniel James BrownDaniel James Brown

Synopsis
For readers of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit and Unbroken, the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics

Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together—a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.

Drawing on the boys’ own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, The Boys in the Boat is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant. It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam's The Amateurs.

(Mentioned in synopsis above:)
Seabiscuit  An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand and Unbroken  A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand by Laura HillenbrandLaura Hillenbrand
Erik LarsonErik Larson
Timothy EganTimothy Egan
James Bradley (no photo)
The Amateurs by David Halberstam by David HalberstamDavid Halberstam


message 11: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Global NF, HF, European/Brit. Hist/Music (last edited May 19, 2013 09:17AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 6976 comments The infamous Olympics held in Berlin in 1936 did not go quite as planned by Adolph Hitler as Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalf put paid to his "white Aryan supremacy" myth.

The Nazi Games

Nazi Games  The Olympics of 1936 by David Clay Large by David Clay Large

Synopsis

The torch relay—that staple of Olympic pageantry—first opened the summer games in 1936 in Berlin. Proposed by the Nazi Propaganda Ministry, the relay was to carry the symbolism of a new Germany across its route through southeastern and central Europe. Soon after the Wehrmacht would march in jackboots over the same terrain.

The Olympic festival was a crucial part of the Nazi regime's mobilization of power. Nazi Games offers a superb blend of history and sport. The narrative includes a stirring account of the international effort to boycott the games, derailed finally by the American Olympic Committee and the determination of its head, Avery Brundage, to participate. Nazi Games also recounts the dazzling athletic feats of these Olympics, including Jesse Owens's four gold-medal performances and the marathon victory of Korean runner Kitei Son, the Rising Sun of imperial Japan on his bib.


message 12: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Global NF, HF, European/Brit. Hist/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 6976 comments Jesse Owen and Ralph Metcalf on the podium at the 1936 Olympics, which chagrined Hitler mightily.




Alisa (MsTaz) | 5301 comments Netting Out Basketball 1936: The Remarkable Story of the McPherson Refiners, the First Team to Dunk, Zone Press, and Win the Olympic Gold Medal

Netting Out Basketball 1936  The Remarkable Story of the McPherson Refiners, the First Team to Dunk, Zone Press, and Win the Olympic Gold Medal by Rich Hughes by Rich Hughes (no photo)

Synopsis:

1936 was the most significant year in basketball's first half century. For the first time, Olympic basketball ended with a gold medal game. Dr. James Naismith was honored at the Berlin Olympics for his wonderful invention, as basketball achieved widespread international acceptance in a short period of time. 45 years after creating an exciting indoor sport for a physical education class, Naismith watched 23 countries vie for the gold. Boycotts protested Hitler's policies within the Olympic host country of Germany, and as a result, politics and sports were forever linked. Other meaningful firsts for the 1935-36 playing season included controversy in the US Olympic Tryout system, a problematic lack of funding for US Olympians, and the actualization of new basketball strategies. Fast breaking offenses, dunking the ball, and full court zone pressure were important new techniques that radically changed the game. This book tells the little known story of the 1936 team which transformed basketball. The book documents the McPherson Refiners significant role in developing basketball's faster, dynamic playing style. The mishaps and fortunes of the Refiners and three other AAU teams who placed men on Berlin's muddy clay court will be the focus of the book.


message 14: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Global NF, HF, European/Brit. Hist/Music (last edited Aug 18, 2013 03:58PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 6976 comments This is one of my favorite Olympic moments with an unforgettable reaction by the announcers ("Look at Mills, look at Mills"). Billy Mills, a Lakota Indian representing the United States, was not expected to win anything at the 1964 Olympics and the press totally ignored him. And then came the 10,000 meter race and this young man made history. Below is a link to the race and the excited announcers. One of the great finishes in all Olympic history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOj0zj...




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message 16: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Global NF, HF, European/Brit. Hist/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 6976 comments Very nice in color but I love Budd Palmer's (I think it was Palmer) "look at Mills, look at Mills". He totally loses it.


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments I though it was Dick Bank who got fired after that for adding the drama according to the internet. He would have gotten a promotion in this day and age.


message 18: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Global NF, HF, European/Brit. Hist/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 6976 comments I didn't look it up but I knew that Budd Palmer was one of the announcers. Well, why in the world would you fire Bank who made announcing history....it was great. That call is always included in the "greatest sports call" lists. Poor guy. For crying out loud, listen to another great...the Russ Hodges "the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant" call and he surely didn't get fired. That is just crazy. That Mills race still gives me a thrill.


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 24010 comments I know but the guy got fired - he caused too much excitement - obviously (smile)


message 20: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Global NF, HF, European/Brit. Hist/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 6976 comments The Olympics which is a celebration of nations and their athletes turned into a bloody massacre against Israeli participants in 1972. Very chilling book.

One Day in September: The Full Story of the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and the Israeli Revenge Operation :Wrath of God

One Day in September  The Full Story of the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and the Israeli Revenge Operation "Wrath of God" by Simon Reeve by Simon ReeveSimon Reeve

Synopsis:

At 4:30 AM on the morning of September 5, 1972, a small band of Arab terrorists invaded Munich's Olympic Village and took 11 Israeli athletes hostage. The Arabs' goal: to thrust the Palestinian cause into the world spotlight and free several hundred Arab prisoners. For the next 24 hours, the world watched as the drama unfolded, culminating in a bloodbath at Munich's Furstenfeldbruck airport. Here those momentous, tension-filled hours are recreated in mesmerizing detail, as is the relentless 10-year Israeli manhunt, called Operation "Wrath of God", for those responsible.


message 21: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Global NF, HF, European/Brit. Hist/Music (last edited Apr 22, 2014 07:41AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 6976 comments The 1936 Olympics have always fascinated me and many book have been written about what the Nazis were trying to show the world through their pageantry. This one is particularly informative.

The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936

The Nazi Olympics Berlin 1936 by Susan D. Bachrach by Susan D. Bachrach(no photo)

Synopsis

Here is the story of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin during which the German Nazi Party attempted to turn the Games into a propaganda vehicle for its own political agenda. This fascinating book, based on an exhibit mounted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, tells the story of those infamous Olympics. Profiled are the organizers, the politicians, and, most important, the athletes: those who boycotted the games, those who were banned from participating, and those who competed. All these riveting tales are vividly recounted by author Susan Bachrach. Using intriguing sidebars and evocative photographs, she brings this iconic event to life in a book that not only will be read avidly this summer as the 2000 Olympic Games take place, but also for years to come


message 22: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator (T) - Military History (new)

Jerome | 2050 comments The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games

The Naked Olympics  The True Story of the Ancient Games by Tony Perrottet by Tony PerrottetTony Perrottet

Synopsis:

With the summer Olympics’ return to Athens, Tony Perrottet delves into the ancient world and lets the Greek Games begin again. The acclaimed author of Pagan Holiday brings attitude, erudition, and humor to the fascinating story of the original Olympic festival, tracking the event day by day to re-create the experience in all its compelling spectacle.

Using firsthand reports and little-known sources—including an actual Handbook for a Sports Coach used by the Greeks—The Naked Olympics creates a vivid picture of an extravaganza performed before as many as forty thousand people, featuring contests as timeless as the javelin throw and as exotic as the chariot race.

Peeling away the layers of myth, Perrottet lays bare the ancient sporting experience—including the round-the-clock bacchanal inside the tents of the Olympic Village, the all-male nude workouts under the statue of Eros, and history’s first corruption scandals involving athletes. Featuring sometimes scandalous cameos by sports enthusiasts Plato, Socrates, and Herodotus, The Naked Olympicsoffers essential insight into today’s Games and an unforgettable guide to the world’s first and most influential athletic festival.


message 23: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator (T) - Military History (new)

Jerome | 2050 comments Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph at the Olympic Games


Munich 1972  Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph at the Olympic Games by David Clay Large by David Clay Large (no photo)

Synopsis:

Set against the backdrop of the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s, this compelling book provides the first comprehensive history of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, notorious for the abduction of Israeli Olympians by Palestinian terrorists and the hostages tragic deaths after a botched rescue mission by the German police. Drawing on a wealth of newly available sources from the time, eminent historian David Clay Large explores the 1972 festival in all its ramifications. He interweaves the political drama surrounding the Games with the athletic spectacle in the arena of play, itself hardly free of controversy. Writing with flair and an eye for telling detail, Large brings to life the stories of the indelible characters who epitomized the Games. Key figures range from the city itself, the visionaries who brought the Games to Munich against all odds, and of course to the athletes themselves, obscure and famous alike. With the Olympic movement in constant danger of terrorist disruption, and with the fortieth anniversary of the 1972 tragedy upon us in 2012, the Munich story is more timely than ever.


message 24: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator (T) - Military History (new)

Jerome | 2050 comments Igniting the Flame: America's First Olympic Team

Igniting the Flame  America's First Olympic Team by Jim Reisler by Jim Reisler (no photo)

Synopsis:

The story of the fourteen men – largely forgotten and never the subject of a full-length book – who created the American Olympic movement by winning eleven gold medals at the first modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens, timed for publication leading up to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2012 Olympics in London.


message 25: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator (T) - Military History (new)

Jerome | 2050 comments Berlin Games: How the Nazis Stole the Olympic Dream

Berlin Games  How the Nazis Stole the Olympic Dream by Guy Walters by Guy Walters (no photo)

Synopsis:

In 1936, Adolf Hitler welcomed the world to Berlin to attend the Olympic Games. Visitors from all over the globe came to see not only a magnificent sporting event, but also a showcase for the newly rebuilt Germany. No effort was spared to present the Third Reich as the world's newest power. Swastikas fluttered next to the Olympic rings from the balconies of freshly painted buildings. Butter was hoarded weeks in advance in order to convince visitors that there were no shortages. There was even a pause in the implementation of anti-Semitic measures. But beneath the surface, the Games of the Eleventh Olympiad of the Modern Era came to act as a crucible for the dark political forces that were gathering to threaten the world.

The 1936 Olympics were nothing less than the most political sporting event of the last century. Far from being a mere meeting of sportsmen and-women, it was an epic clash between proponents of barbarism and those of civilization, both of whom tried to use the Games to promote their own values. Berlin Games is the complete history of those fateful two weeks in August that would foreshadow the bloody conflict soon to come. It is the story of the athletes, from their often humble beginnings to the glory of the Olympic Stadium. It is also an eye-opening tale of the Nazi machine that attempted to use the Games as a model of Aryan superiority and fascist efficiency. Furthermore, it is a devastating indictment of the manipulative figures—including politicians, diplomats, and Olympic officials—who vied for power and glory in different sorts of games whose results would have profound consequences for the world.

Drawing on original research and interviews with surviving participants from all over the world, Walters has produced a history filled with intrigue, sport, sex, and infamy. Berlin Games is a definitive and remarkable record of a time that still fascinates and haunts us to this day


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