COUBERTIN'S OLYMPICS: How the Games Began by Davida Kristy

COUBERTIN'S OLYMPICS: How the Games Began

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the Sports Legacy series, a sympathetic, overdue look at a man with an extraordinary vision, and extraordinary will to match. Chiefly responsible for reviving the modern Olympic Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin preferred to work behind the scenes, and was consequently often slighted. Did he mind? In this engaging portrait, Kristy suggests that he certainly did: ""He had never sought glory for himself, but it would have been nice to have glory thrust upon him."" The author ably describes the birth of Coubertin's dream, and how he got the ball rolling through solicitations, negotiation, compromise, and outright tricks; so ""strenuous, exciting and profitable"" were his 1896 Games that, despite ceaseless contention and political maneuvering, the Olympic Movement has been growing ever since, adding winter games and (over Coubertin's strident objections) women's events. Brief accounts of the ancient Games, 19th-century precursors, and highlights of the first few Olympics flesh out the narrative, as do occasional side essays, plenty of small black-and-white photos--old and new--as well as some in full color.

Pub Date: July 21st, 1995
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Lerner