Review of The Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC

The book has a big title “The Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC Athens to London 1894-2012” and this is a big book that doesn’t disappoint – this hardback book has 683 pages. The book comprehensively covers all of the games, the politics, the characters and of course the key results. It is laid out as follow:

  • Foreword by HRH The Princess Royal
  • Introduction – Ethical Risks by Michael Johnson
  • Chapters 1 to 80 then covers each of the games in turn (both summer and winter) and is interspersed with linking chapters on covering key stages in the development of the Olympics. Each chapter starts with words from an Olympic champion of key IOC figure.
    • I. Foundation
    • II. Greek Mentor
    • III. Athens (I) 1896
    • IV. Visionary
    • V. Paris (II) 1900
    • VI. American Farce
    • VII. St. Louis (III) 1904
    • VIII. Back to Athens, on to London
    • IX. London (IV) 1908
    • X. Enchantment
    • XI. Stockholm (V) 1912
    • XII. War-torn
    • XIII. Antwerp (VII) 1920
    • XIV. Expansion
    • XV. Chamonix (I) 1924
    • XVI. Paris (VIII) 1924
    • XVII. Passing the Baton
    • XVIII. St. Moritz (II) 1928
    • XIX. Amsterdam (IX) 1928
    • XX. Beating the Crash
    • XXI. Lake Placid (III) 1932
    • XXII. Los Angeles (X) 1932
    • XXIII. Veiled Evil
    • XXIV. Garmisch-Partenkirchen (IV) 1936
    • XXV. Berlin (XI) 1936
    • XXVI. Post-War Austerity
    • XXVII. St. Moritz (V) 1948
    • XXVIII. London (XIV) 1948
    • XXIX. Enter the Soviets
    • XXX. Oslo (VI) 1952
    • XXXI. Helsinki (XV) 1952
    • XXXII. Wayward Fanaticist
    • XXXIII. Cortina D’Ampezzo (VII) 1956
    • XXXIV. Melbourne (XVI) 1956
    • XXXV. Arrival of Television
    • XXXVI. Squaw Valley (VIII) 1960
    • XXXVII. Rome (XVII) 1960
    • XXXVIII. Anti-Apartheid Flame
    • XXXIX. Innsbruck (IX) 1964
    • XL. Tokyo (XVIII) 1964
    • XLI. Reformist’s Advent
    • XLII. Grenoble (X) 1968
    • XLIII. Mexico City (XIX) 1968
    • XLIV. Terror
    • XLV. Sapporo (XI) 1972
    • XLVI. Munich (XX) 1972
    • XLVII. Tormented Lord
    • XLVIII. Innsbruck (XII) 1976
    • XLIX. Montreal (XXI) 1976
    • L. Cold War, Hot Heads
    • LI. Lake Placid (XIII) 1980
    • LII. Moscow (XXII) 1980
    • LIII. Revolutionary
    • LIV. Sarajevo (XIV) 1984
    • LV. Los Angeles (XXIII) 1984
    • LVI. Reality
    • LVII. Calgary (XV) 1988
    • LVIII. Seoul (XXIV) 1988
    • LIX. Excess
    • LX. Albertville (XVI) 1992
    • LXI. Barcelona (XXV) 1992
    • LXII. Winter Wonderland
    • LXIII. Lillehammer (XVII) 1994
    • LXIV. Centenary
    • LXV. Atlanta (XXVI) 1996
    • LXVI. Athens’ Reprieve
    • LXVII. Nagano (XVIII) 1998
    • LXVIII. Laws and Ethics
    • LXIX. Sydney (XXVII) 2000
    • LXX. China-Bound
    • LXXI. Salt Lake City (XIX) 2002
    • LXXII. Going Home
    • LXXIII. Athens (XXVIII) 2004
    • LXXIV. London’s Late Run
    • LXXV. Turin (XX) 2006
    • LXXVI. Beijing Centre Stage
    • LXXVII. Beijing (XXIX) 2008
    • LXXVII. Next Stop Rio
    • LXXIX. Vancouver (XXI) 2010
    • LXXX. Welcome, Youth Games
  • The appendices are extensive (181 pages) and cover:
    • A – IOC Members 1894-2011
    • B – Olympic Games Results
    • C – Olympic Games Medals Tables
    • D – List of Abbreviations
    • E – Current National Olympic Committees (per continent)
    • F – Summer and Winter Games: dates and statistics
    • G – IOC Sessions
    • H – Olympic Congresses
  • There then follows a bibliography and index.
Front cover of  "The Official History..."

Front cover of "The Official History..."

For those with an interest in the London 2012 Games (and who doesn’t have an interest?) chapter 74 takes us back to the events leading up to the selection of London in July 2005. There is a lot of discussion of the ethics and politics behind the decision making prior to the vote on which of the five candidate cities (London, Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow) would host the 2012 games. The influence of the performance of Sebastian Coe in leading London’s effort and his influence on some of the key players comes across clearly.

The results tables in Appendix B summarise concisely the gold, silver and bronze medalists for each event and Appendix C gives the medals tables that give the measure of the success of the competing nations over the years.

This book builds on the thoroughness of the previous editions and is packed with interest on every page.

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