Olympics & Paralympics Books
Jurgen Grobler, one of Britain's most esteemed sporting coaches and the mastermind behind many Olympic rowing successes, has remained largely out of the spotlight throughout his life.
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This biography, written by Olympic medallist Hugh Matheson and rowing historian Christopher Dodd, looks at the ways in which he has inspired Britain's rowing teams so so many Gold medals.
Grobler has worked with athletes including Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell over the years and won Gold in a range of boat classes. This book looks over his career - from his early years in the German Democratic Republic to the fall of the Berlin Wall and then a move to Britain in pursuit of rowing greatness.
This is an exciting, high-interest "Olympic" series designed to tie-in perfectly with the London Olympics in 2012. The series will offer up-to-date and comprehensive information specific to the games in 2012, and a detailed look at new technologies that are making a huge impact in the world of sports today. Other titles will examine the scale, history, and huge popularity of the event up to the present day.
- RRP £42.70
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This is the incredible true story of Charlotte Dujardin and her horse Valegro - the record-breaking stars of the London 2012 Olympics.
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Charlotte began riding horses at the age of 2 and her parents sacrificed so much so she had a chance of representing the country at dressage - a sport normally reserved for the wealthy, not a middle-class family.
When she first started riding the dark bay gelding Valegro, the duo formed an incredible bond...
When Great Britain failed to qualify for the women's hockey competition at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the sport was at its lowest point. Sliding down the world rankings, in-fighting and discord within the squad, no funding and very little prospect of a bright future. Three players - Crista Cullen, Helen Richardson and Kate Walsh - were junior members of that team, and would have been forgiven for walking away at that point. Fast forward 12 years and the same three players were at the heart of the greatest moment in Great Britain women's hockey, standing on the podium in Rio de Janeiro with Olympic gold medals proudly hanging around their necks. During those intervening years, the team had undergone a transformation. It was no easy journey, but a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, triumphs and disasters - with casualties along the way. The History Makers is more than an account of a famous victory. It is the story of how a team changed its culture and its attitude and transformed a sport barely worth a mention in the press into the provider of an Olympic moment that gripped the nation.
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With a show-jumping career spanning over forty years, Nick Skelton is a legend in the equestrian world. No other rider has won so many major competitions on so many different horses and he is as popular at Olympia and Hickstead as he is at Aachen, Geneva, Paris and Spruce Meadows. Skelton has competed in eight Olympic Games. He was part of the gold medal-winning Great Britain team at London 2012 and made history by winning the individual Olympic gold medal at Rio 2016, riding at the age of fifty-eight his beloved horse Big Star.Nick Skelton began riding at the age of eighteen months on a Welsh pony called Oxo. At the age of seventeenth in 1975, Skelton took team silver and individual gold at the Junior European Championships. He has competed many times at the European Show Jumping Championships, winning numerous medals, both individually and with the British team. In 1980 he competed in the Alternative Olympics, where he helped the British team to a silver medal. He still holds the British Show Jumping High Jump record that he set in 1978.In 2000, Skelton was forced into an early retirement after he broke his neck from a serious fall. But following an amazing recovery he came out of retirement in 2002 to compete again. Now he tells the full story of his eventful life and matchless achievements.
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The uplifting, feel-good autobiography of Ben Ryan, the coach of the Olympic gold-medal winning Fijian rugby team The inspirational story of how one man changed a nation, how that nation changed the man and how together they made sporting history. It is late summer 2013. Ben Ryan, a red-haired, 40-something, spectacle-wearing Englishman, is given 20 minutes to decide whether he wants to coach Fiji's rugby sevens team, with the aim of taking them to the nation's first-ever Olympic medal. He has never been to Fiji. There has been no discussion of contracts or salary. But he knows that no one plays rugby like the men from these isolated Pacific islands, just as no one plays football like the kids from the Brazilian favelas, or no one runs as fast as the boys and girls from Jamaica's boondocks. He knows too that no other rugby nation has so little - no money and no resources, only basic equipment and a long, sad history of losing its most gifted players to richer, greedier nations. Ryan says yes. And with that simple word he sets in motion an extraordinary journey that will encompass witchdoctors and rugby-obsessed prime ministers, sun-smeared dawns and devastating cyclones, intense friendships and bitter rows, phone taps and wild nationwide parties. It will end in Rio with a performance that not only wins Olympic gold but reaches fresh heights for rugby union and makes Ben and his 12 players living legends back home.
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Sam Quek is mainly known for her starring role in the 2016 Olympic gold medal winning hockey team. This was the first time a British ladies team had won gold, but what is much less known is that Sam's rise to the top of her spot was far from easy. Sam???missed out on being part of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics but competed for England at the 2013 EuroHockey tournament and 2014 Commonwealth Games, which she won silver medals. She won the gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics after the GB hockey team beat the Netherlands on penalties. How Sam overcame the bitter disappointment of being overlooked for the two previous Olympics and ensured that she wouldn't miss out again are revealed here for the first time. She also tells of her tough childhood and her battle to reach the heights that she has. She then went on to further fame by appearing in 'I'm a Celebrity' where she proved to be hugely popular with the viewing public, eventually finishing fourth. Sam now presents a variety of sports for TV, including men and women's football, NFL and hockey. She has been signed up to be the main presenter for the women's World Hockey Championships in 2018, held in August. She is hugely popular on social media with thousands of followers on twitter and instagram. Sam also has some very strong views on how women are portrayed in sport and their treatment by both coaches and the media. This is a hugely topical subject at the moment and promises to remain so for some time.
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Passed from hand to hand, the Olympic flame has become one of the great symbols of sport. The relay from the ruins at Olympia in Greece forges a powerful bond with the Ancient Olympic Games. Using original documents, The Story of the Olympic Torch chronicles the development of the run as the first great event of the Games. It describes the symbolism as the spark is kindled from the rays of the sun in Olympia at the start of the journey. It reveals the obstacles faced by organisers in 1948 before the flame could be brought to London. It explains why three Olympic torch relays were organised in 1956, and the many original ways the flame has been transported, from under the ocean to the highest mountain. The lighting of the cauldron is the final dramatic moment of an opening ceremony, but it is by no means the oldest part of the Olympic ritual. Barker explores the importance of music and the five Olympic Rings. Tables detail the facts and figures of each relay and for the first time list every runner to have carried the torch on British soil and the main stopping points of the route for 2012. The roll of honour also includes those who have taken the Olympic Oath.
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A captivating account of the Nazi Olympics - told through the voices and stories of those who were there. For sixteen days in the summer of 1936, the world's attention turned to the German capital as it hosted the Olympic Games. Seen through the eyes of a cast of characters - Nazi leaders and foreign diplomats, athletes and journalists, nightclub owners and jazz musicians - Berlin 1936 plunges us into the high tension of this unfolding scene. Alongside the drama in the Olympic Stadium - from the triumph of Jesse Owens to the scandal when an American tourist breaks through the security and manages to kiss Hitler - Oliver Hilmes takes us behind the scenes and into the lives of ordinary Berliners: the woman with a dark secret who steps in front of a train, the transsexual waiting for the Gestapo's knock on the door, and the Jewish boy hoping that Germany may lose in the sporting arena. During the sporting events the dictatorship was partially put on hold; here then, is a last glimpse of the vibrant and diverse life in Berlin in the 1920s and 30s that the Nazis aimed to destroy.
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'Tears of sorrow will roll down your face, only to be followed by tears of laughter. You will be filled with awe at the unbreakable spirit of Martine Wright.' CLARE BALDING By turns heart-breaking and heart-warming, Unbroken is the remarkable true story of a woman who turned trauma and tragedy into hope. The autobiography of 7/7 bombings survivor and GB Paralympian, Martine Wright. On the morning of 7th July 2005, Martine Wright's life changed forever. As she boarded an eastbound circle line train at Moorgate station, amid the busy rush-hour, she didn't pay attention to her fellow passengers. At 8.49am, one of those passengers detonated a suicide bomb that would kill seven people in the carriage, part of a wider attack on London claiming 52 lives that became known as the 7/7 bombings. Martine was, in fact, the last person to be brought out alive from the atrocities. She lost 80 per cent of her blood, was in a coma for seven days and underwent ten months of surgery. Not only did Martine survive her horrific injuries but, having never played sport seriously before, she took up sitting volleyball as part of her rehabilitation and went on to represent Great Britain at the Paralympics in London 2012. A deeply poignant moment that signified her triumph over tragedy, it marked a journey Martine felt she was destined to make. Since then Martine has become a national figure: a formidable, powerful, brilliantly funny, hugely engaging heroine who has come back - almost literally - from the dead. In 2012 she was awarded the Helen Rollason award at the Sports Personality of the Year and in 2015 the Independent voted her one of '50 most powerful women in British Sport'. Beyond her phenomenal sporting achievements, Martine continues to change the lives of those around her as a charity fundraiser and inspirational speaker.
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The Olympic Games have become the single greatest festival of a universal and cosmopolitan humanity. Seventeen days of sporting competition watched and followed on every continent and in every country on the planet. Simply, the greatest show on earth. Yet when the modern games were inaugurated in Athens in 1896, the founders thought them a "display of manly virtue", an athletic celebration of the kind of amateur gentleman that would rule the world. How was such a ritual invented? Why did it prosper and how has it been so utterly transformed?In The Games, David Goldblatt - winner of the 2015 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award - takes on a breathtakingly ambitious search for the answers and brilliantly unravels the complex strands of this history. Beginning with the olympics as a sporting side show at the great Worlds Fairs of the Belle Epoque and its transformation into a global media spectacular, care of Hollywood and the Nazi party, The Games shows how sport and the olympics been a battlefield in the global Cold War, a defining moment for social and economic change in host cities and countries, and a theatre of resistance for women and athletes colour once excluded from the show. Illuminated with dazzling vignettes from over a century of olympic completion - this stunningly researched history captures the excitement of sporting brilliance and the kaleidoscopic experience of the Games. It shows us how this sporting spectacle has come to reflect the world we hope to inhabit and the one we actually live in.
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The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event on the planet. It has developed beyond all recognition since Baron Pierre du Coubertin first raised the idea of reviving the Ancient Olympic ideal in 1889. The first modern Olympic Games, appropriately held in Athens in 1896, featured only 241 athletes from 14 countries; at the London 2012 Games, around 4,200 athletes from 147 countries competed in front of a global television audience of 6.7 billion. Some of the greatest stories in world sport have been written and names have been etched into sporting folklore during Olympic competition. "Olympic and World Records" is a collection of the finest achievements on sport's greatest platform. Fully updated with special features on the London 2012 Olympic Games and the records set during this festival of sport, "Olympic and World Records" is essential reading for any fan of the Games - the greatest and most revered spectacle in world sport - and an outstanding record of the greatest summer of sport ever witnessed on (and off in the case of sailing) these shores.
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Longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award Simon Timson and Chelsea Warr were the Performance Directors of UK Sport, tasked with the outrageous objective of delivering even greater success to Team GB and ParalympicsGB at Rio than in 2012. Something no other host nation had ever achieved in the next Games. In The Talent Lab, Owen Slot brings unique access to Team GB's intelligence, sharing for the first time the incredible breakthroughs and insights they discovered that often extend way beyond sport. Using lessons from organisations as far afield as the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music, the NFL Draft, the Royal College of Surgeons and the SAS, it shows how talent can be discovered, created, shaped and sustained. Charting the success of the likes of Chris Hoy, Max Whitlock, Adam Peaty, Ed Clancy, Lizzy Yarnold, Dave Henson, Tom Daley, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Katherine Grainger, the Brownlee Brothers, Helen Glover, Anthony Joshua and the women's hockey team, The Talent Lab tells just how it was done and how any team, business or individual might learn from it.
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Sue MacGregor talks to members of the 1980 British Olympic team who defied their Government to attend the Moscow games. In 1979, the British team was in training for the following year's Olympic Games when Russia invaded Afghanistan. President Carter, backed by Margaret Thatcher, urged athletes to boycott the event, and the worlds of politics and sport seemed caught in a headlock. This fascinating programme sees Sue MacGregor reuniting members of the British Olympic team as they recall that controversial year. Swimmer Duncan Goodhew, athlete Joslyn Hoyte-Smith, and rowing cox Colin Moynihan faced their own personal dilemmas about competing for their country in the face of political opposition. Team leader Dick Palmer carried the flag alone into the Olympic stadium, and as the hate mail stacked up, coach Frank Dick did his best to shield the athletes from the pressures. Together, they reminisce about the difficult decisions they made, the trials of participating without Government support, and ultimately the triumph of a record-breaking British medals haul.
- RRP £9.25
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The Olympics have not always been the commercialised juggernaut we know today, but as Jules Boykoff makes clear in this story-filled and devastating history, the Games have since their inception had a thoroughly checkered political history. Pierre de Coubertin, the aristocrat who gave birth to the modern Olympics, was against allowing women to participate, and allowed African countries to participate only to offset their "individual laziness". Boykoff, a former member of the US Olympic soccer team, takes readers from the nineteenth-century origins of the modern Games, through its flirtations with Fascism, and into the contemporary era of corrupt, corporate control. Along the way he recounts vibrant alt-Olympics movements, like the Workers' games and Women's Games of the 1920s and 1930s to the Gay Games of the 1980s through today.
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If you want to know about the ancient Olympic games, ask someone who was there! Who better to ask than Tethys, the grandmother of all the Greek gods. The Greek gods gather on Mount Olympus to watch the games taking place on Earth below. Like any typical family, they revive old rivalries, pick out their favourite competitors, and vie for the best view. Called upon to answer their questions and resolve their squabbles, Grandmother Tethys soothes and distracts them with stories about "How the Olympic Games Came To Be". Prompted by the sporting events the gods have been watching down below, these tales reveal the mythical rivalries and adventures of both gods and mortals that inspired the very first Olympic competitions. The gripping text is accompanied by illustrations inspired by ancient Greek objects and designs in the British Museum.
- RRP £6.99
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Rio 2016 was, for Team GB, a success like no other Olympic Games. Apart from the 1908 London Games (22 nations competed in 110 events across 22 sports and only 37 of the 2,008 competitors - 676 British - were women), these were the most successful ever for Team GB, with 67 medals won, two more than at London 2012. This pictorial celebration of British sporting success recalls all the glorious moments, whether it be reasserting GB's dominance - in the Velodrome - or breaking new ground - in women's hockey. But there were almost as many outstanding achievements which resulted in silver and bronze medals and these are also covered in depth. Sport by sport, Team GB: Victorious tells how the medals were won, the key moments and tells some of the amazing stories of dedication, bravery, determination and heroism displayed by medals winners. The fantastic summer of sport in 2016 will live long in the memory, but when it fades, this book will bring those glorious moments back to vivid and spectacular life.
- RRP £14.99
The Olympic Games can dazzle us with the sheer scale and variety of its sporting contests. Yet many of the games are unfamiliar to even the most avid sports fan. Which is where this witty, insightful book comes in. How to Watch the Olympics offers each sport's backstory and culture, and explains the finer points of strategy, skulduggery and skill. Once you've read the book, you'll be on tenterhooks to see whether the Danes triumph at handball, what the Italian fencers are up to and why Greco-Roman wrestling is so crucial to Kasakhstan. You'll know who invented the butterfly stroke, where water polo serves as the closest expression of warfare and how shuttlecocks travel faster than tennis balls. This edition has been freshly updated for the 2016 Games in Rio, including fresh material from London 2012 and chapters on the new Olympic sports of rugby sevens and golf. Seventeen days, 10,500 athletes, 28 sports, 302 gold medals up for grabs: the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will soon be upon us. How to Watch the Olympics is your invaluable personal trainer.
- RRP £9.99
The Berlin Olympics, August 14, 1936. German rowers, dominant at the Games, line up against America's top eight-oared crew. Hundreds of millions of listeners worldwide wait by their radios. Leni Riefenstahl prepares her cameramen. Grantland Rice looks past the 75,000 spectators crowding the riverbank. Above it all, the Nazi leadership, flush with the propaganda triumph the Olympics have given their New Germany, await a crowning victory they can broadcast to the world. The Berlin Games matched cutting-edge communication technology with compelling sports narrative to draw the blueprint for all future sports broadcasting. A global audience--the largest cohort of humanity ever assembled--enjoyed the spectacle via radio. This still-novel medium offered a "liveness," a thrilling immediacy no other technology had ever matched. Michael J. Socolow's account moves from the era's technological innovations to the human drama of how the race changed the lives of nine young men. As he shows, the origins of global sports broadcasting can be found in this single, forgotten contest. In those origins we see the ways the presentation, consumption, and uses of sport changed forever.
A richly illustrated book on the career, on and off the track, of sprinting superstar Usain Bolt, from schoolboy prodigy to World and triple Olympic Champion and world record holder for 100 and 200 metres. Endorsed by the sports star's management, this exciting new biography features an exclusive farewell message penned by Bolt himself. It also contains archival photos not previously published, extensive quotes from Bolt, coaches and competitors, and 'Did You Know?' sections with little known facts about Bolt. A must-have for every fan.