The 2016 Rio games are finally here! This is the one book on the Olympics you really do need.
The Olympic Games can dazzle us with the sheer scale and variety of its sporting contests. Yet many of the games are unfamiliar to even the most avid sports fan. Which is where this witty, insightful book comes in. How to Watch the Olympics offers each sport's backstory and culture, and explains the finer points of strategy, skulduggery and skill.
Once you've read the book, you'll be on tenterhooks to see whether the Danes triumph at handball, what the Italian fencers are up to and why Greco-Roman wrestling is so crucial to Kazakhstan. You'll know who invented the butterfly stroke, where water polo serves as the closest expression of warfare and how shuttlecocks travel faster than tennis balls. This edition has been freshly updated for the 2016 Games in Rio, including fresh material from London 2012 and chapters on new Olympic sports rugby sevens and golf.
Seventeen days, 10,500 athletes, 28 sports, 302 gold medals up for grabs: the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will soon be upon us. How to Watch the Olympics is your invaluable personal trainer.
David Goldblatt is the author of the World Football Yearbook and The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football. He writes the Sporting Life column in Prospect, teaches sociology of sport at Bristol University and broadcasts regularly on the politics of sport for BBC Radio.
Johnny Acton is a writer who specialises in digging up obscure nuggets of information and making complex subjects accessible. He has written books on everything from pickling food (Preserved with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) to the history of balloons (The Man Who Touched the Sky).
Paperback - B format
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Sports & outdoor recreation