How to Watch the Olympics: The Essential Guide to the Rules, Statistics, Heroes, and Zeroes of Every Sport

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Overview

The must-have guide to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games

Next summer, millions of Americans will tune into the Olympic Games, the largest and most popular sporting event in the world. Yet while it's easy to be fascinated by agile gymnasts, poised equestrians, and perfectly synchronized swimmers, few of us know the real width of a balance beam, the intricate regulations of dressage, or the origin of those crowd-pleasing legs-in-the-air swimming formations. Luckily, David Goldblatt and Johnny Acton have created this utterly thorough and always fun guide to the rules, strategy, and history of each sport. With witty, detailed descriptions and clever illustrations, How to Watch the Olympics will help anyone grasp handball, archery, wrestling, fencing, and every other Olympic event like a true pro.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Every Olympic year, millions of Americans receive refresher courses in exciting sports about which we know all too little. The Games of the XXX Olympiad (also as known as the 2112 Summer Olympics) begin that all-too-rapid tutorial in London on July 27th. In its 384 pages, How to Watch the Olympics functions as an entertaining one-stop tutorial on everything you need to know or want to know about the 26 sports and 300+ events; from archery and badminton to swimming, artistic gymnastics, and mountain biking. Browse it; buy it; impress your friends.

From the Publisher
 
“Rich in intriguing background . . . a wonderfully entertaining, informative read, one that caught me incessantly putting ‘Did you know. . .’ questions to my friends. . . . Like any good guidebook, How to Watch the Olympics gives us times, places, and dates for London events, but it’s the well-told stories that are best. . . . The book did not have to be as good as it is. It could’ve gotten away with mediocrity and still capitalized on the London excitement. But Goldblatt and Acton set their sights on a higher prize. Stories, after all, are the foundation for why we watch sports in the first place. It is our good fortune to join these storytellers for the ride.”—Christian Science Monitor

 
“Delicious facts sprint through How to Watch the Olympics. It’s by a pair of cheeky Brit sportswriters, David Goldblatt and Johnny Acton, and sorry to sound like an infomercial, but if you only buy one book on the Olympics, buy this. I’m keeping my copy next to the remote control, from the July 27 opening ceremony to the final sign-off. . . . The book is very handy. There are short histories on every sport, and the rules are smartly explained.”—Boston Globe

 
“The authors clearly and engagingly explain the rules, competitors and strategies of all the sports you'll be watching during this summer’s London Olympics. Whether it’s archery or kayaking, synchronized swimming or the marathon, this book tells you everything you need to know to converse intelligently about the games.”

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

 
“Even Olympic-watching pros have to be impressed with this handy, one-volume guide to every sport for couch potatoes to become instant authorities on whatever they’re watching. Where else will you get 12 splendid, simple pages telling you everything you could ever want to know about fencing? It goes without saying, of course, that foil matches are thoroughly delineated from those with the épée and sabre.”—Buffalo News

 
“David Goldblatt and Johnny Acton smartly serve up How to Watch the Olympics. This handbook, with its fast facts and useful overviews of the many events, plus its thumbnail portraits of past Olympic performers, should rest comfortably on the easy chair, ready for quick access as the TV broadcasts commence.”—BookPage

 
“A valuable guide to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games being held in London, replete with clever diagrams, witty prose, and the stories behind some of the more obscure events.”—Publishers Weekly

 
“Affordable, portable, and informative, this accessible and fun book is highly recommended for Olympics watchers everywhere.”—Library Journal

 
“The perfect event-by-event primer for sport’s biggest occasion.”—The Independent

 
“Those planning Olympic spectatorship in 2012 will not find a better vade mecum than this crisply informative guide to all 29 sports in next summer’s games.”—The Guardian

 
“Even the more obscure sports are ably explained with the aid of witty prose and diagrams. . . . This has more than a sporting chance of becoming the intelligent armchair guide of choice.”—The Bookseller

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143121879
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/29/2012
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,475,542
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

David Goldblatt is the author of The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Soccer, as well as a regular sports columnist and commentator for BBC Radio.

Johnny Acton is a writer specializing in obscure nuggets of information—ranging from pickling food (Preserved ) to the history of balloons (The Man Who Touched the Sky).

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    For each sport, this book tells us: over what dates the competit

    For each sport, this book tells us: over what dates the competition will take place this year, how many athletes will be competing, how many gold medals will be awarded, the history of when the sport first became an Olympic event, current contenders, summary of past champions, why we should watch this particular sport, and a short history of the sport itself. It goes on to explain the basics of the sport, including information about any equipment, dimensions of the court or field or such, and how scoring or judging works. It then goes into a description of the finer points of the sport, often including diagrams. I am so glad I found this book!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Greatly recommended

    Excellent book. Informative, humorous and a great read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2012

    ggbfxdg

    why get the book when you can google everything about it instead, or just watch it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Mom tracy

    Great book

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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