A Lifetime of Training for Just Ten Seconds: Olympians in their own words

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A&C Black, May 10, 2012 - Sports & Recreation - 208 pages
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’I hope the Romanian doesn’t get through, because I can’t pronounce her bloody name.’
Allegedly from David Coleman, British radio and TV commentator, at one of his many Olympic coverages, when he thought he was off air.

A Lifetime of Training for Just 10 Seconds is a collection of quotations from Olympic athletes, eyewitnesses and commentators through the ages, whether written, broadcast, overheard or misreported. They are inspiring, devastating - often hilarious - and a fascinating insight into the Games, the people who watch and compete in them, and those labouring and slithering behind the scenes. The notes following the quotes give a potted history of the Games and its cast of characters.

’These are the Olympics; you die before you quit.’
The great American discus thrower, Al Oerter, winner of four successive gold medals (1956-1968). For the third of these in Tokyo, he competed despite excruciating pain from a torn rib cartilage, strapped up and iced.
 

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Contents

1 AMBITION AND BEING THE BEST
1
2 CEREMONIES SYMBOLS AND INSTITUTIONS
7
3 COTSWOLD WENLOCK LONDON
14
4 DESTINY CHANCE AND THE UNEXPECTED
21
5 DRESS AND FASHION
28
6 ENDURANCE OPPORTUNITY WILL AND THE IMPOSSIBLE
32
7 FAIR PLAY FOUL PLAY AND DOPING
41
8 FAME AND OBLIVION
49
18 PEOPLE
110
19 POLITICS
125
20 RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
132
21 RELIGION
136
22 REVIVAL
141
23 SEX REARS ITS OLYMPIC HEAD
150
24 TRIUMPH AND DISASTER
153
25 VOICES OF DISSENT
160

9 FINE ART AND BEAUTY
55
10 FOOD DRINK AND PARTYING
58
11 DISCIPLINES GENERAL AND INDIVIDUAL
62
12 MEDALS
72
13 MONEY SPEAKING
81
14 NATIONALISM
91
15 OLYMPIASTADION 1936
98
16 ORIGINS
104
17 OVERCOMING ADVERSITY
107
26 WAR AND PEACE
164
27 WOMENS EMANCIPATION
170
28 YOUTH AND AGE
174
29 THE OLYMPIC HYMN
179
HOST CITIES AND DATES
181
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
185
INDEX
187
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Richard Witt was Head of English Translations (2001-2004) for the Organizing Committee of the Games of the XXVIIIth Olympiad.

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