When The Story of the Olympics arrived at the end of the summer I did not feel ready for it. Not that I objected to Richard Brassey’s book, but the dratted Olympics felt like a very long way away. They still do, but it could be that with my head so deep in the sand I am missing a few things.
My heart fell when I heard London had ‘bagged’ the games, back in 2005. I remember the day unusually well, but won’t bore you with it. And I appear to be in a minority of one, feeling not the slightest inclination to buy a ticket for anything at all. Which leaves more for the rest of you.
But Richard’s picture history of the Olympic games is quite fun. I was especially taken with the nude athletes. And due to some miscalculation on my part I thought they’d been competing in their undressed state until a few hundred years ago. Must remember the difference between BC and AD.
I imagine this book would be good way for those who can barely remember the last time, let alone 1964, to learn about it all. A bit of history, a few amusing snippets of silly mistakes, plus many of the memorable moments from the past, is all served up in an easy to digest form.
In 1968 I was too young to fully grasp what Tommie Smith and John Carlos were doing, but I remember 1972 reasonably well. Not just for the awful things that happened, but it’s when my country found its future Queen. (That’s not in the book.)
Let’s hope that if there are future Olympics books that only nice things will be added to what’s in this one.