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Ashley Atkinson
Editor, Branch Out

Going For Gold

Going For Gold

Reads to Get Your Ready For This Summer’s Olympic Games

By Will Osborne, Adult Services Outreach Coordinator

Every four years, thousands of athletes from over 200 countries compete for medals and glory in their sport during the Summer Olympic Games. This summer, from July 26-Aug. 11, Paris, France will play host to the latest iteration of the Games, which took place from 776 B.C. until 393 A.D. before being resurrected in 1896 as the “modern Olympics.” Get into the spirit of the Games by taking a look at the rich history of the competition and the inspiring stories of those who participated with these books:

The History of the Olympic Games: Faster, Higher, Stronger by the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage
Hundreds of photographs and artworks of the Olympic Games, including portraits, action shots and images of memorabilia.

Rome 1960: The Olympics that Changed the World by David Maraniss
The first commercially televised Summer Games, the 1960 Games served as a window to the era, with Cold War spies, equal rights, the rise of corporate branding and the first doping scandal among the highlights.

Something in the Air: American Passion and Defiance in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics by Richard Hoffer
This historic account captures the essence of the 1968 Games by following the American team through feuds, protests and the tensions of the era.

The Watermen: The Birth of American Swimming and One Young Man’s Fight to Capture Olympic Gold by Michael Loynd
Swimming is one of the most popular of the Olympic sports in the United States, a popularity that can be traced back to Charles Daniels, the first American swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal.

My Greatest Save: The Brave, Barrier-Breaking Journey of a World-Champion Goalkeeper by Brianna Scurry and Wayne Coffey
Brianna Scurry, a trailblazing women’s soccer player on the U.S. National Team, shares her harrowing, triumphant life story. Winning a gold medal in the 1996 Games, she was the only Black player on the team and the first to be openly gay.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
The underdog story of the University of Washington's eight-oar crew team that challenged Great Britain and Germany for Olympic gold.

Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story by Wyomia Tyus and Elizabeth Terzakis
The life story of the two-time consecutive gold-medal winning athlete following her from childhood to Olympic success, recounting all the challenges and triumphs in between.

A Visitor’s Guide to the Ancient Olympics by Neil Faulker
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to attend the Olympics in 388 B.C. this illustrated guide provides readers with a glimpse of the ancient Greek Olympics that show how the Games have changed and continue to endure.

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