Swifter, Higher, Stronger: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics

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National Geographic, 2004 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 96 pages
"Let the games begin!" is a cry that has stirred athletes and citizens from countries all over the world for more than a hundred years. In Swifter, Higher, Stronger, Sue Macy has captured a compelling and comprehensive portrait of the summer Olympics, one that spans contests and culture, pageantry and history. In five hard-to-put-down chapters, she explains the revival of the modern Olympics and how they survived boycotts, wars, and terrorism to grow into the vast media event we know today. She profiles the breakthrough athletes who became household names after hanging medal upon medal around their necks: names like Jesse Owens, Jim Thorpe, Babe Didrikson, and Jackie Joyner Kersey. She shows how the Games were always much more than mere contests of athleticism. You'll read about the Olympics as a platform for world politics, such as when Jimmy Carter led the U.S. and more than 60 other nations to sit out the 1980 Moscow Olympics as a protest to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan, and when Hitler showcased his new Nazi society at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. You'll be fascinated by a host of scandals, some under the umbrellas of drug testing and gender testing. And you'll find plenty of smaller and sweeter moments, from the U.S. Olympian who gave up her place on the tae-kwon-do team to a fellow athlete who was injured during the trials, to the novice African swimmer who finished his race only through sheer determination. Macy's prose hooks you into the history and the competition. She follows the careers of two determined French sports enthusiasts-Pierre Coubertin who revived the Olympic Games, and Alice Milliat, who made sure the women weren't forgotten. Great moments in sports history are riveting in this retelling, from the 1896 glorious patriotic victory of Greek marathon runner, Spiridon Loues, to the controversial (and unexpected) overtime basketball match between the Americans and the Soviets in 1972.Photographs throughout capture the action: a mid-air dive, a last-second game-winning shot, medal-winners' emotions on the podium. Three featured photo galleries, "Poetry in Motion," "Olympic Superstars," and "Winning Moments," showcase the diversity, the athleticism, and the sheer joy of the Games.A comprehensive gazetteer provides at-a-glance statistical information on each Olympiad, a map of the sites, a chart of record setters, a summary of Olympic highlights by Olympiad, and a helpful guide to further resources. With a foreword by sportscaster Bob Costas, this standout volume on the history of the summer Olympics is made for every reader-from the peruser, to the browser, to the researcher-who has ever found themselves swept up in the excitement of the Games.

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SWIFTER, HIGHER, STRONGER: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics

User Review  - Kirkus

In time for this summer's Games, a slickly produced overview that's just right for getting readers up to speed on the modern Olympics' revival, development, and high (or low) spots. Macy combines ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - abbylibrarian - LibraryThing

Interesting (and timely) information about the Olympic games. I learned a lot of things I didn't know and the photos included gave a glimpse of Games past. The format is a bit problematic. Huge blocks ... Read full review


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About the author (2004)

Bob Costas has won the Emmy Award as Outstanding Sports Broadcaster eight times & has been named National Sportscaster of the Year by his peers seven times. He has also received Emmy Awards for his writing, interviewing, & reporting. In addition to his sports broadcasting, Costas hosted the Emmy Award-winning interview show "Later ...with Bob Costas" on NBC, & will be hosting a new sports journalism program on HBO beginning in February 2001. A native New Yorker, Costas now lives in Saint Louis, Missouri.

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