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.

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 4 Up-Anderson highlights personalities and gives readers a taste of the social and political climates of several eras and how they effected the Games. Part one looks at eight chapters of Olympic history, such as "1900-1912: Jim Thorpe and King Gustav," "1920-1932: The Babe and Tarzan," "1936-1948: Jesse Owens and Hitler," etc. The trials and tribulations of Olympic athletes such as Wilma Rudolph, Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis, Olga Korbut, and Greg Louganis are included in part two. Coverage is balanced between men and women, with the most attention going to popular sports such as track and field, gymnastics, swimming, figure skating, and skiing. Only eight pages are devoted to other "minor" sports. The focus is primarily on athletes from the United States. Updates include events such as the pipe-bomb explosion at the 1996 Summer Games, 15-year-old Tara Lipinski's gold medal, and the first Olympic women's hockey competition at the 1998 Winter Games. This is not a comprehensive look at the Olympics, but will provide readers with a good background to begin their research, and for younger readers may be all that is required. Black-and-white photographs add to the text. Libraries that don't own the 1996 edition will want to purchase this book, especially with interest building for the 2000 Summer Games. It will be a supplemental purchase for those that already have the earlier title.-Michael McCullough, Byron-Bergen Middle School, Bergen, NY (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