Onward to the Olympics: Historical Perspectives on the Olympic Games

Onward to the Olympics: Historical Perspectives on the Olympic Games


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The Olympic Games have had two lives-the first lasted for a millennium with celebrations every four years at Olympia to honour the god Zeus. The second has blossomed over the past century, from a simple start in Athens in 1896 to a dazzling return to Greece in 2004. Onward to the Olympics provides both an overview and an array of insights into aspects of the Games' history. Leading North American archaeologists and historians of sport explore the origins of the Games, compare the ancient and the modern, discuss the organization and financing of these massive athletic festivals, and examine the participation, or the troubling lack of it, by women.

Onward to the Olympics bridges the historical divide between the ancient and the modern and concludes with a thought-provoking final essay that attempts to predict the future of the Olympics over the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554580422
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Publication date: 01/01/2008
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Gerald P. Schaus is a professor of archaeology and Classical studies and former chair of the department at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he also teaches ancient sports. He is publishing the results of Canadian excavations in the Athena Sanctuary Stymphalos (Greece).

Stephen R. Wenn is a professor in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. He is co-author of Selling the Five Rings: The IOC and the Rise of Olympic Commercialism (2002).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations x

Preface xiii

Introduction Gerald P. Schaus xvii

List of Abbreviations xxv

Part I The Olympics in Antiquity

An Overview

The Ancient Olympic Games through the Centuries Nigel B. Crowther 3


Politics and the Bronze Age Origins of Olympic Practices Senta C. German 15

Pindar, Heracles the Idaean Dactyl, and the Foundation of the Olympic Games Thomas K. Hubbard 27

The First Olympic Games Max Nelson 47

The Transformation of Athletics in Sixth-Century Greece Paul Christesen 59

Ideals and Losers

The Ancient Olympics and Their Ideals Nigel B. Crowther 69

Olympic Losers: Why Athletes Who Did Not Win at Olympia Are Remembered Victor Matthews 81

Details of the Festival

Judges and Judging at the Ancient Olympic Games David Gilman Romano 95

Heroic and Athletic Sortition at Ancient Olympia Aileen Ajootian 115

Fabulous Females and Ancient Olympia Donald G. Kyle 131

The Halma: A Running or Standing Jump? Hugh M. Lee 153

Another View of Olympia

Connections between Olympia and Stymphalus Gerald P. Schaus 167

Commemorative Cash: The Coins of the Ancient and Modern Olympics Robert Weir 179

Works Cited in Part I 193

Part II The Modern Olympics

An Overview

The Olympic Games in Modern Times Robert K. Barney 221

The Olympics Before World War II

Duke Kahanamoku-Olympic Champion and Uncle Sam's Adopted Son: The Cultural Text of a Hawaiian Conqueror Jim Nendel 243

Carl Diem's Inspiration for the Torch Relay? Jan Wils, Amsterdam 1928, and the Origin of the Olympic Flame Robert K. Barney Anthony Th. Bijkerk 253

The Great Progression: A Content Analysis of the Lake Placid News and the Los Angeles Times'Treatment of the 1932 Olympics Jonathan Paul 261

The Olympics after World War II

Womanizing Olympic Athletes: Policy and Practice during the Avery Brundage Era Kevin B. Wamsley 273

The Bridge to Change: The 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, South African Apartheid Policy, and the Olympic Boycott Paradigm Courtney W. Mason 283

Splitting Hairs: The Struggle between the Canadian Federal Government and the Organizing Committee of the 1976 Torontolympiad concerning South African Participation David A. Greig 297

Juan Antonio Samaranch's Score Sheet: Revenue Generation and the Olympic Movement, 1980-2001 Stephen R. Wenn Scott G. Martyn 309

The Future of the Olympic Games

Olympic Ideals: Pragmatic Method and the Future of the Games Tim Elcombe 325

"To Construct a Better and More Peaceful World" or "War Minus the Shooting"?: The Olympic Movement's Second Century Mark Dyreson 335

Works Cited in Part II 351

Glossary of Terms 359

Index 363

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