Books and the Olympics

I am an Olympic junkie. I remember being fascinated by the Montreal games, those are the first I remember. Then the summer games of my high school days were tainted by boycotts (Moscow, Los Angeles), so I focused on the winter games, especially figure skating. The summer games in 1988 in Seoul are the ones I remember first as an adult, the first time I went looking for a place to watch the 100 m final. Of course Seoul was also the Ben Johnson thing for Canadians, and we prefer not to remember that, the rush of the win, and the deflation of the drug test. I was in teacher’s college that fall (the games were in September) and we talked about how to debrief that kind of news story in the classroom. The best setting for the summer was Barcelona, in my humble opinion. The visuals during the diving competition with the city in the background were spectacular, and the tennis on clay courts was terrific. Today the Queen declared the London 2012 Olympics open. I wish I was there.

It was interesting that books, particularly children’s fantasy books, were referenced during the opening ceremonies, Peter Pan and the Harry Potter books were obviously referenced in some way or another. J.K. Rowling appeared and read aloud. I thought I saw glimpses of Alice in Wonderland characters, but am not totally sure. Oh, and Mary Poppins also put in an appearance.

Do you connect books with the Olympics? I am dog sitting for the next couple of weeks, and before I left my house this morning, I picked up Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy, a story that involves the Sydney Olympics. I thought it might make thematic reading for the games. I’m not sure I’ll actually get to it as I’ve got lots of other books on the go, but just in case. What about you? Which books (if any) do you connect with the Olympics and why?


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