Book chronicles phenomenal journey of Olympics
In The Most Incredible Olympic Stories, Argentinian writer Luciano Wernicke curates the oldest sporting legends - a tale that becomes the narrative of a modern civilisation.
A new book maps down the phenomenal journey of the Olympics through time immemorial – from its genesis to its glory days – with the lore of myth, magic and gallantry in every turn of its long-walked path.
In The Most Incredible Olympic Stories, Argentinian writer Luciano Wernicke curates the oldest sporting legends – a tale that becomes the narrative of a modern civilisation.
Published by Niyogi Books, it is packed with many powerful tales that often captivate with their elements of surprise, unpredictability, and romance. It is a confluence of history, politics and spirit.
The Olympics has always been a platform of voices, a podium that has always inspired a plurality of narratives, the book says.
It mentions how at the 1968 Mexico edition, African-American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos climbed onto the podium without trainers and dressed completely in black. When the American anthem was played, they raised a fist closed wrapped in a black glove, symbol of unity of the ‘Black Power’, sending tremors to the White pride.
The idea of using the gloves in the awards ceremony was from the Australian Peter Norman, winner of silver medal in that race. Norman was banned by his country’s Olympic authorities and was not allowed to compete in Munich 1972. Smith and Carlos left the Olympic Village, but their message had already been heard by the world. In Moscow, for example, poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko wrote a ballad to honour the African-Americans.
Wernicke worked in the sports media and also taught journalism techniques and text composition at the Corculo de Periodistas Deportivos for about 20 years. In 2019, he was assistant to the Costa Rica’s national football team manager, Gustavo Matosas.
He is the author of numerous books on sports such as “The Most Incredible World Cup Stories”, “The Most Incredible Football Stories”,
“Doctor and Champion”, and “Duel Never Won” (a comparative biography of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo).
The book tells how the ideal spirit of a game is not only about imposing strict rules, but about keeping room for those rules to be altered, if necessary.
By breaking rules occasionally, sports thus uplifts itself in terms of humanity, it says.
The book mentions several instances to show how right from the very beginning, that has been the case.
“Only single women and girls were allowed to attend Olympia as spectators. Married women were prohibited from witnessing the different sports, under the penalty of death. The only known case of violation of these rules correspond to Callipatria, a woman who disguised herself as a man to see her son Pisidoro in the boxing competition. The judges and spectators discovered the deception, but the woman was forgiven for being a daughter, sister and mother of Olympic champions,” it says.
Source – The Indian Express