The Secret Olympian: The Inside Story of the Olympic Experience

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Bloomsbury USA, May 10, 2012 - Sports & Recreation - 224 pages
The vast majority of us can only dream of being an Olympic-level athlete - but we have no real idea of what that means. Here, for the first time, in all its shocking, funny and downright bizarre glory, is the truth of the Olympic experience.

It is an unimaginable world:
the kitting-out ceremony with its 35kg of team clothing per athlete the pre-Olympic holding camp with its practical jokes, resentment and fighting, and freaky physiological regimes the politicians' visits with their flirty spouses the vast range of athletes with their odd body shapes and freakish genetics the release post-competion in the Olympic village with all the excessive drinking, eating, partying and sex (not necessarily in that order) the hysteria of homecoming celebrations and the comedown that follows - how do you adjust to life after the Games?
The Secret Olympian talks to scores of Olympic athletes - past and present, from Munich 1960 right through to London 2012, including British, American, Australian, Dutch, French, Croatian, German, Canadian and Italian competitors. They all have a tale to tell - and most of those tales would make your eyes pop more than an Olympic weightlifter's.

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User Review  - clq - LibraryThing

During the Olympics I heard this book mentioned, so I figured I would give it a try. It describes the Olympics seen through the eyes of an Olympic athlete, from the point where they get told they are ... Read full review

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Basically, this book outlines the stages in the life of an Olympian right from his training, to selection on Olympics, the journey there and back. However this book is heavily Great Britain focussed.
Some new things learnt
a) Recently, Olympians practicing just before the Olympics try to go to a similar place as the Olympics venue. This is called the Holding camp. Equivalent to prelims before final. Reasons are obvious.
Previously, Europeans legally used to go to Alps (i.e high altitude place) to supercharge their blood naturally with EPO. Funda is hi altitude has less pressure, hence can perform more (remember Bob Beamon long jump at Mexico?). Thus blood can get charged, which can be used in Olympics
b) Different doping methodologies
--> Steroids i.e. Drugs for e.g. THG (also called The Thing)
--> In 70s - Blood doping -> Auto transfusion(i.e. extracting the super charged blood and then re-inserting back into the body just before the Olympic D-day)
--> 2000s - EPO artificial (more difficult to detect than auto-transfusion). On a side note - this is what Lance Armstrong used....
c) Behind the scenes @ Olympics villages. Includes the official use of condo.....
d) Post Olympic life of a few Olympians - Various options available to them including training, management positions etc. Some dont do all that great at all post Olympics, including medal winners.
Overall, there is some information, but not much sensational. Makes a good read!

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About the author (2012)

The anonymous author is a former Olympian with friends and contacts in many countries' Olympic squads. He knows things....

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