Literary Olympics

By Amy

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat! The Olympics are in full swing (and will continue through August 12th) showcasing the rise, and sometimes nasty falls, of the world’s best athletes.

There’s been plenty of controversy over the Olympics: from doping allegations to teams throwing games; even the television broadcasts have come under fire! So while you’re waiting for your favorite games to come back from commercials, check out some of these Olympic reads:

 Private Games– James Patterson and Mark Sullivan

“Private, the world’s most renowned investigation firm, has been commissioned to provide security for the 2012 Olympic games in London. When the games are threatened by a madman bent on returning the Olympics to their ancient glory,  will they be able to uncover and stop him before he destroys the Olympics?”

Gold– Chris Cleave

“Cyclists Zoe and Kate are friends and athletic rivals for Olympic gold, while Kate and her husband Jack, also a world-class cyclist, must contend with the recurrence of their young daughter’s leukemia.”

Dream Team– Jack McCallum

“‘Dream Team’ documents the story of the Olympic squad that won the gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games, assessing the achievements and legacy of some of the NBA’s greatest players, including Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Charles Barkley.”

Flight from Berlin– David John

“August 1936: The eyes of the world are on Berlin, where Adolf Hitler is using the Olympic Games to showcase his powerful new regime. Cynical British journalist Richard Denham knows that the carefully staged spectacle masks the Nazis’ ruthless brutality, and he’s determined to report the truth.”

Rush for the Gold– John Feinstein

“Two teenaged aspiring journalists who are dating solve a mystery at the 2012 Olympic Games, while one simultaneously competes for a gold medal in swimming.”

Dream Big– Deloris Jordan

“From the age of nine years Michael dreams of playing basketball for the United States in the Olympics, and with hard work and his mother’s encouragement, he realizes his dream.”

Showdown at Shepherd’s Bush– David Davis

“The eyes of the world watched as three runners–dirt poor Johnny Hayes, who used to run barefoot through the streets of New York City; candymaker Dorando Pietri; and the famed Tom Longboat–converged for an epic battle at the 1908 London Olympics. Standing next to Cait Murphy’s Crazy ’08 as an invaluable look at a bygone sporting era, this dramatic narrative is aimed at the recordsetting number of marathon participants in the United States (more than 500,000 in 2010!) and nicely for the return of the Olympics to London in 2012”

Gold Medal Summer– Donna Freitas

“After fourteen-year-old Joey experiences her first kiss and learns that her best friend wants to quit competitive gymnastics, she considers giving up her dream of winning gold medals in order to have a normal life, even as her sister and assistant coach urge her to reach a new level.”

Speaking of literary Olympics, from 1912 to 1948 there actually were Olympic art competitions. The first gold medal in literature was awarded for a piece called “Ode au Sport” by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games. Of course, it was submitted under a pseudonym; we wouldn’t want any Olympic controversy, would we?

Go for the gold!

2 thoughts on “Literary Olympics

  1. I’ve always foudn it fascinating to look at some of the awards they gave medals to back in the day. An Olympic award for Town Planning is pretty cool.


    • Definitely! I think it would be awesome to bring some of those “events” back.

      I would watch a novel writing relay with word by word commentary! The “iambic pentameter” already sounds like an Olympic event!


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