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.
Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy explains how to make the most of cycling - whatever your age, experience or ability may be.
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Alongside anecdotes from his glittering career, Chris offers practical advice on strength conditioning, training plans, strengthening weaker areas and taking care of your bike.
This handy book also covers cycling skills and safety, riding on different terrains and offers advice on diet, weight loss and the psychology of cycling.
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...
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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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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Seoul Glow tells the story of the Great Britain men's hockey team who won gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Little to the team's knowledge, the final caught the British public's imagination as they beat rivals West Germany in the gold-medal match. After Sean Kerly's semi-final heroics and Imran Sherwani's double in the final, BBC commentator Barry Davies uttered the now infamous line: 'Where were the Germans? But, frankly, who cares?' Victory, for a team of amateurs, who had either quit their jobs or taken holiday to play in Seoul, propelled the team to celebratory heights on their return to British shores; it was GB's first hockey gold in the post-war era and followed an eight-year plan for a major title. The story also reveals how the team was inspirationally led by the late Roger Self, the manager who gelled his players into Olympic title holders.
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In the northwestern corner of the great peninsula of the Peloponnese, close to the meeting point of the Cladeus and Alpheus rivers, lies a peaceful river valley overlooked by the steep-sided Hill of Cronus. Here, between the eighth century BCE and the fourth century CE, rival athletes competed for glory in the ancient Olympic Games. Every four years, and from every corner of the Mediterranean world - from Samos to Syracuse and from Sparta to Smyrna - they descended on this quiet corner of southern Greece sacred to Zeus, seeking to excel in disciplines as diverse as sprinting, boxing, wrestling, trumpet blowing and chariot and mulecart racing. The victors of these ancient games may have been awarded crowns of olive leaves in recognition of their achievements, but these original Olympics were no idealistic celebration of the classical aesthetic of grace and beauty shared by all of the participating Greek city-states, but often a bitterly contested struggle between political rivals. Robin Waterfield paints a vivid picture of the reality of the ancient Olympic Games; describes the events in which competitors took part; explores their purpose, rituals and politics; and charts the vicissitudes of their remarkable thousand-year history.
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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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Published in association with the official Olympic Museum and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), The Treasures of the Olympic Winter Games brings to life, through more than 200 photographs and over 20 removable artefacts, the glorious history of the Olympic Winter Games. The inaugural Olympic Winter Games were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. Charles Jewtraw of the United States became the first gold medallist when he triumphed in the 500 metres Speed Skate. Since that first edition, there have been 20 more Olympic Winter Games and they have become on one of the world's leading sports events. In The Treasures of the Olympic Winter Games you can discover the incredible sporting exploits of such global Olympic legends such as A. Clas Thunberg (Finland), Sonja Henie (Norway), Gretchen Fraser (USA), Jean-Claude Killy (France), Sidney Crosby (Canada) and Meng Wang (China) and then hold and study the unique memorabilia relating to each of the Games. This is the first time that the Olympic Museum have co-operated in producing an interactive book on the Olympic Winter Games, which contains facsimiles of memorabilia from their exclusive archive - including important historical documents, tickets, programmes, collectable cards, full-size posters, and even a personal letter from a President of the United States of America. The Treasures of the Olympic Winter Games allows readers to get closer to the sporting spectacle than has ever been possible before.
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Every Sunday for almost a century John Cann's family ran the famous snake show in a pit at La Perouse in Sydney - an area once alive with tiger, brown and black snakes. After growing up with over 300 'pet' snakes in their backyard, John and his brother George took over the snake show from their parents in 1965. By the time John retired in 2010, he'd survived five venomous snake bites. Many of those familiar with John and his shows wouldn't know that he was also an Olympic athlete, a top state rugby league player who played alongside some of the legends of the game, a state champion boxer, an adventurer and a world authority on turtles. The Last Snake Man chronicles John's extraordinary life and times. From wrangling snakes to chasing turtles, from remote country towns to the impenetrable jungles of New Guinea, this is the story of an amazing Australian and his never-ending search for fascinating animals and adventure.
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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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'Pure genius, gliding lyricism ... It is, simply, a delight' Independent on Sunday 'Vivid with chlorine-bleached swimsuits, and post-match sorrow' Caitlin Moran, Observer, Books of the Year As a teenager, Leanne Shapton trained for the Olympic swimming trials; now an artist, she is still drawn inexorably to swimming, in pools and the sea. What do you do with an all-absorbing activity once it is past its relevance, and yet you can't quite give it up? Swimming Studies is a lyrical, playful work that explores what it is like to move from a world of competition to one of recreation and introspection, giving a sideways glimpse into memory, adolescence, swimming, drawing, obsession and solitude. 'Exquisite ... brilliant, eccentric and moving - an immersion in life ... this enigmatic book is written out of what cannot be fathomed' Observer 'A rich account ... told with the originality and playfulness of an artist ... Shapton shares Dave Eggers' talent for taking the mundane and making it viscerally new' The Times 'Captures a bittersweet part of the writer's past as completely as a scent trapped in a bottle' John Jeremiah Sullivan, author of Pulphead 'If there is a more beautifully observed examination of the weightlessness, silence, rigour and delight of what it means to swim, I've never read it' David Rakoff, author of Half Empty
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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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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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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.
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'Refreshingly honest [...] a highly enjoyable, fascinating read.' Horse and Hound "To ride into that arena, next to a sea of British flags and hear the roar of clapping and cheering, was so exciting. It's a sound I will never, ever forget." Charlotte Dujardin and her charismatic horse Valegro burst onto the international sports scene with their record-breaking performance at the London, 2012 Olympics. The world was captivated by the young woman with the dazzling smile and her dancing horse. But no one quite knew what it took to get there, nor how hard the path to success would be - until now. Dujardin began riding horses at the age of two, but dressage was firmly the domain of the wealthy, not the life of a girl from a middle-class family. Her parents sacrificed all and with a undeterred focus, Charlotte left school at 16 to follow her dream. When she was invited to be a groom for the British Olympian Carl Hester, she began to ride Valegro, a dark bay gelding and an unbreakable bond was formed. This is their incredible story.
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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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Improbable, heart-wrenching, and uplifting, Jeremiah Brown's journey from novice rower to Olympic silver medallist in under four years is a story about chasing a goal with everything you've got. After nearly being incarcerated at age seventeen and becoming a father at nineteen, Jeremiah Brown manages to grow up into a responsible young adult. But while juggling the demands of a long-term relationship, fatherhood, mortgage payments, and a nine-to-five banking career, he feels something is missing. A new goal captures his imagination: What would it take to become an Olympian? Guided by a polarizing coach, Brown and his teammates plumb the depths of physical and mental exertion in pursuit of a singular goal. The 4 Year Olympian is a story of courage, perseverance, and overcoming self-doubt, told from the perspective of an unlikely competitor.
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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.
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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.
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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.
- RRP £19.99
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.