"We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to enjoy something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." -- Emil Zàpek For a decade after the Second World War, Emil Zàpek -- "the Czech locomotive" -- redefined the sport of distance running, pushing back the frontiers of what was considered possible. He won five Olympic medals, set eighteen world records, and went undefeated in the 10,000-metre race for six years. His dominance has never been equaled. In the darkest days of the Cold War, he stood for a spirit of generous friendship that transcended nationality and politics. Zàpek was an energetic supporter of the Prague Spring in 1968, championing "socialism with a human face" in Czechoslovakia. But for this he paid a high price. After the uprising was crushed by Soviet tanks, the hardline Communists had their revenge. Zàpek was expelled from the army, stripped of his role in national sport, and condemned to years of hard and degrading manual labor. Based on extensive research in the Czech Republic, interviews with people across the world who knew him, and unprecedented cooperation from his widow, fellow Olympian Dana Zàpkovàjournalist Richard Askwith's book breathes new life into the man and the myth, uncovering a glorious age of athletics and an epoch-defining time in world history.
|Edition description:||First US Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.80(d)|
About the Author
Richard Askwith is a journalist for the Independent and author of two books: Running Free and Feet in the Clouds. The latter won Best New Writer at the British Sports Book Awards, was shortlisted for the William Hill Prize, and was named one of the three best running books of all time by Runner's World.