Women and the Olympic Dream: The Struggle for Equality, 1896-2021 by McFarland Publishing.
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Olympic fans are accustomed to watching women compete with as much effort, skill, and success as their male counterparts, but it wasn’t always that way. This 2022 book shows how women had to push to be allowed to compete, sport by sport, and year by year. They weren’t allowed to swim because they had to compete in long skirts. They weren’t allowed to run more than a lap because of rumors that they had all collapsed. The list of restrictions and excuses is long, showing the never-ending set of hurdles women encountered in making their way into the Games. They pushed forward anyway, and the result is a fascinating compilation of individual acts of courage and collective opposition to chauvinistic attitudes.
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You never know where your passions may take you. I started writing just a few blogs about the Games in 2016 and before I knew it, there were three books in print.
The A to Z Olympics: 26 Torch-Worthy Tales & Tidbits.
This is a short and lively book, a blogging challenge that I curated with footnotes and bibliography into a potpourri of topics about the games, everything from Archery to Zagunis. These are little essays designed to be consumed like a snack, whether you’re preparing for an upcoming tournament, or just can’t wait for the next one, years away.
Click here for a paperback or Kindle version from Amazon. Or, click these links for Apple, Barnes & Noble, or here for several other fine online retailers.
It’s a smorgasbord of information, whether you’re reminiscing about Tokyo 2020 or looking ahead to Beijing, Paris, Los Angeles, or Brisbane...
Outside the Rio Spotlight
My first book covered American heroes who competed in sports in the 2016 Games that don’t capture the prime time news. Some of them, like wrestlers Helen Maroulis and shot putter Raven Saunders, also made headlines in Tokyo.
Outside the Rio Spotlight tells the tales of a dozen athletes—record-breakers, notable pioneers, and all-around thrilling competitors—overlooked in the prime-time TV coverage obsessed with sprinters, soccer legacies, and “angry faces.” These are stories of courage and American excellence at its peak, centering on the lesser-known sports like judo, rowing, BMX, and fencing.
Told in the style of 16 Days of Glory, the book details the tournaments for these athletes who compete-–with little funding and even less hype–for the love of their sport and the honor of their country, which is the essence of the Olympics.
These athletes did it whether anyone was watching or not.