BOB MATHIAS: The Story of the Olympic Champion by Myron Tassin

BOB MATHIAS: The Story of the Olympic Champion

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A sketchy, too-good-to-be-true portrait of Bob Mathias--whose story is worth telling better. A doctor's son from Tulare, in the San Joaquin Valley, Mathias won the decathlon at the 1948 London Games at a mere 17. Four years later he triumphed again in Helsinki--the only man to win two gold medals in this composite of 10 track and field events. In between, he played fullback on a Stanford football team that reached the Rose Bowl. Following his retirement from competition, Mathias went Hollywood, starring in his own life story and such exploitation flicks as Theseus and the Minotaur. Elected to Congress in 1966, he served four terms, losing his seat in the post-Watergate purge of conservative Republicans. Director of the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs since 1977, Mathias will apparently be making a lot of TV appearances before the 1984 Games. Still, that seems scant justification for the fanzine prose and assorted inanities here. (""Bob went on to take the gold medal anyway. . . but it was clearly a case of the thrill of victory and the agony of the feet."") Mathias contributes a curious afterword damning the Olympic movement with faint praise. There will also be pictures.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1983
Publisher: St. Martin's