With the announcement yesterday that Raj Bhavsar, my favorite male gymnast, has been promoted from alternate to full member of the men’s Olympic gymnastics team, I thought it would be a good time to post about some books that might help Olympics nuts like me get excited:
Chalked Up: the story of Jennifer Sey, a U.S national gymnastics champion in the 80s, and how the crazy world of gymnastics almost destroyed her. I read this book a few months ago but was reminded of it as I watched the women’s Olympic trials recently. I don’t know that at 16 or 18 or 20 I would have had the dedication that most of these girls have to practice and to work through injury (for better or for worse, as Jennifer’s book shows).
Oracle Bones: In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said that “Everyone in the Western world should read this book.” As we get closer to the Olympics and protests increase, I feel more and more like I don’t know enough about China. Oracle Bones, along with Peter Hessler’s other book, River Town goes beyond what you read in newspapers to explore and observe a China that westerners don’t often get to see.
Berlin Games: And speaking of politics and the Olympics, the 1936 games were more than just sporting events (though, is the Olympics ever just about sports?).
I know where I’ll be in 9 days, 21 hours, and 24 minutes (approximately). Read those books and then check out when your favorite sport will be airing.