The Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC

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More About This Title The Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC


Together with the highs and lows of the Games themselves, this illustrated chronicle includes the recreation of the Olympic Games by Pierre de Coubertin and the often tempestuous and controversial fortunes of the governing body—including three successive boycotts and the Salt Lake City scandal of 1998. It also tells the story of the historic competitors—from Spyridon Louis (the inaugural Marathon winner) and such heroes as Jim Thorpe, Paavo Nurmi, Sonja Heine, Jesse Owens, Greg Louganis, and Carl Lewis, to more recent medal winners, including Steve Redgrave and Kathy Freeman. The twin evolutions of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the world's greatest sports festival unfold in alternate chapters, each of which begins with a personal reminiscence by either a famous champion or a notable IOC figure. Detailed background is provided on the many crises—the Nazi Games of 1936, the massacre at Mexico City in 1968, the Israeli slaughter by terrorists in 1972, the boycotts, the new commercialism from 1984 onwards, the advent of professionals from 1988, and the ongoing threat of drug abuse. Included is how the credibility of the Games and of the IOC was rescued by the glory of Sydney 2000, and how the sporting world anticipated the Games' return in 2004 to the country of their ancient origins.


David Miller is a veteran sports journalist who has covered 16 Olympic Games.