Cover image for The story of the Olympics
The story of the Olympics
Anderson, Dave.
Personal Author:
Revised edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W. Morrow, [2000]

Physical Description:
168 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Traces the history of the Olympics from its beginning in 776 B.C. to the present and relates stories of particular events such as track and field, gymnastics, and speed skating.
General Note:
Includes index.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV721.53 .A626 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area

On Order



Relive the excitement and drama of the world's greatest sporting event--the Olympics Games. Pulitzer Prize--winning sportswriter Dave Anderson traces this international spectacle from its roots in ancient Greece to the recent Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

Anderson includes all the superstar--from long-standing legends like versatile athlete Jim Thorpe; to Babe Didrikson, who broke three world records in the 1932 Summer Games; to Nadia Comaneci; the first gymnast to record a perfect 10. He also highlights the latest generation of medal winners, such as Amy Van Dyken, who splashed her way to four gold medals at the 1996 Atlanta Games, and Michael Johnson with his incredible record-breaking dash in the 200-meter run. Woven into these fascinating stories is a discussion of how outside issues and events have shaped the modern Olympics. Anderson also provides an overview of the major sports and explains what it takes to win at each.

With over seventy-five stirring photos of the champions in action, this revised edition of The Story of the Olympics is also thrilling as the Games themselves.

Author Notes

David Poole Anderson was born in Troy, New York on May 6, 1929. At the age of 16, he was hired as a messenger by The New York Sun. He received a degree in English literature from Holy Cross College in 1951. After college, he covered the Dodgers for The Brooklyn Eagle in 1953 and 1954 and then went to The Journal-American. He became a general-assignment sportswriter for The New York Times in 1966. He began writing the Sports of The Times column five years later. He received a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1981 and the Associated Press Sports Editors' Red Smith Award in 1994 for major contributions to sports journalism. He retired from full-time column writing in 2007 but continued to contribute columns to The Times after that on a part-time basis.

He wrote several books including In the Corner: Great Boxing Trainers Talk About Their Art, Muhammad Ali, and Pennant Races: Baseball at Its Best. He died on October 4, 2018 at the age of 89.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. Anderson hits the high spots in this survey of the Olympics. The first half of the book briefly describes the ancient Olympics and gives the history of the modern Olympics games, grouped into seven time periods from 1900 to 1994. The second part of the book looks at certain Olympic sports, such as track and field, gymnastics, and figure skating. Focusing on dramatic moments, this book offers short, readable vignettes rather than a comprehensive survey of the subject. The black-and-white photographs vary in quality. Not an essential purchase, but a possible choice for libraries looking to supplement in an Olympic year. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5 Up‘A thorough and detailed history of the Olympics is presented in spirited, readable prose. Anderson chronicles the development of the modern games, beginning with a brief description of their ancient origins. By focusing on the "stars'' of the Olympiads, the author offers not only a chronology of the events and the athletes, but also sheds light on the changing nature of the games. The book's format and index make it readily usable for research, while the readable text invites browsing. In addition to discovering details about medalists, readers learn how international politics and materialistic goals have interfered with the games' underlying premise. For example, the terrorist attack on the Israeli athletes in 1972 and boycotts prompted by contemporary problems go counter to the ancient Greek practice of ceasing conflicts in order to hold the events. And the specter of drug use by athletes and the need to monitor for it detract from the original concept. However, what endures is the spirit of individuals persevering and triumphing in spite of obstacles. This is an engrossing story on many levels, and it will enhance any collection of books about the Olympics, along with other recent offerings such as Davida Kristy's Coubertin's Olympics (Lerner, 1995).‘Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Part 1 In the Beginning: To Athens from Olympiap. 9
1900-1912: Jim Thorpe and King Gustavp. 16
1920-1932: The Babe and Tarzanp. 25
1936-1948: Jesse Owens and Hitlerp. 35
1952-1960: The Soviet Invasionp. 44
1964-1972: Terrorists and Black Glovesp. 54
1976-1984: The Miracle in Lake Placidp. 64
1988-1998: The Dream Teamp. 75
Part 2 Track and Field: Wanting to Be the Bestp. 91
Gymnastics: Cartwheels and Couragep. 102
Swimming/Diving: Mark of Excellencep. 113
Figure Skating: Ballet on Icep. 123
Skiing: Down the Mountainsp. 132
Speed Skating: Queen and King of Heartsp. 142
Other Sports: When a Medal Is a Medalp. 151
Why Are the Olympics So Popular?p. 159
Indexp. 161