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Igniting the Flame: America's First Olympic Team

by

Igniting the Flame: America's First Olympic Team Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The first US Olympic team—a ragtag group of fourteen men, mostly Ivy Leaguers, with little support from the country—stood at the top of the podium for an amazing eleven events at the inaugural modern Games in 1896. Their unexpected triumphs caused a swell of national pride and paved the way for generations of US Olympians. Author Jim Reisler chronicles the American sports scene in the nineteenth century, the men of influence who established a modern Olympics, and how a squad of semi-talented Americans, competing without the backing of the Amateur Athletic Union or their universities, went off to Athens anyway and won the hearts and minds of the world.
 
Only four of the fourteen Americans could be called “world class” at their events. Yet, on the first day of the Games—following a grueling journey to Greece—Bostons James Connolly won the triple jump (becoming the first Olympic champion in 1,500 years); Princetons Robert Garrett took first in the discus, an event in which he had never competed; and all three American sprinters won their 100-meter heats. As American triumphs mounted, so did headlines, legitimizing the Games back home. But somehow the teams story has been largely forgotten. Even more forgotten is the teams champion, William Milligan Sloane, a Princeton professor of classics whose role in establishing the modern Olympics has never before been adequately explored.
 
Recalling the events of the 1896 Olympics, revealing the inside story of how the United States team was put together, and telling the individual tales of fourteen fascinating athletes, Igniting the Flame is an inspiring account of how the American Olympic movement caught fire.

Synopsis:

The story of the fourteen men - largely forgotten and never the subject of a full-length book - who created the American Olympic movement by winning eleven gold medals at the first modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens, timed for publication leading up to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2012 Olympics in London.

Synopsis:

From critically acclaimed American sports historian Jim Reisler comes the story of the fourteen athletes

whose triumphs at the 1896 Olympics in Athens launched the US Olympic movement.

Robert Garrett (Princeton)

Champion Discus

Champion Shot Put

Runner-up Long Jump

Third High Jump

Thomas Burke

(Boston Athletic Assoc.—BAA)

Champion 100 Meters

Champion 400 Meters

Ellery Clark (BAA; Harvard)

Champion Long Jump

Champion High Jump

James Connolly

(Suffolk Athletic Club,

Harvard)

Champion Triple Jump

Runner-up High Jump

Third Long Jump

Sumner Paine (BAA)

Champion Free Pistol

Runner-up 25-Meter Military Revolver

William Hoyt (BAA; Harvard)

Champion Pole Vault

110-Meter High Hurdles

Thomas Curtis (BAA)

Champion 110-Meter High Hurdles

 100 Meters

John Paine (BAA)

Champion 25-Meter Military Revolver

Albert Tyler (Princeton)

Runner-up Pole Vault

Arthur Blake (BAA)

Runner-up 1,500 Meters

Marathon

Herbert Jamison (Princeton)

Runner-up 400 Meters

Francis Lane (Princeton)

100 Meters

Charles Waldstein

Shooting

Gardner Williams (BAA)

 Swimming

Synopsis:

The first U.S. Olympic team—a ragtag group of 14 men, mostly Ivy Leaguers—caused a swell of national pride while taking home 11 gold medals and paving the way for generations of U.S. Olympians. Author Jim Reisler chronicles the growing American sports scene in the 19th Century, the men of influence who established a modern Olympics, and how a squad of moderately talented Americans, funded independently, competing without the backing of the Amateur Athletic Union or their universities, went off to Athens, anyway. By triumphing in their events, they won not only gold—but also the hearts and minds of the world.

Theirs was a strange journey to Greece—high jump training on a rolling transatlantic ship, nearly missed connections, practice runs among throngs of native children. But on the first day of Games, something unexpected happened. Bostons James Connolly won the triple jump (becoming the first Olympic champion in more than 1,500 years); Princetons Robert Garrett took gold in the discus, an event he had never tried before; all three American sprinters won their 100-meter heats. As American triumphs mounted, so did headlines, legitimizing the Games back home. But as fast as their star rose, somehow their story has been largely forgotten. Even more forgotten is the teams champion, William Mulligan Sloane, a Princeton professor of classics whose crucial role in establishing the modern Olympics has never before been adequately explored.

About the Author

JIM REISLER is the author of eight baseball books, most notably Babe Ruth: Launching the Legend, praised by The New York Times Sunday Book Review. Reisler has written for Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, New York Daily News, and Newsweek. Jim is a frequent guest on sports radio shows, including Bob Costass national satellite show and National Public Radios Morning Edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780762778485
Author:
Reisler, Jim
Publisher:
Lyons Press
Author:
Wottle, Dave
Subject:
Olympics
Subject:
US History-19th Century
Subject:
Sports and Fitness-Olympics
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20120631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8-page photo insert
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Olympics
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports General

Igniting the Flame: America's First Olympic Team Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.50 In Stock
Product details 296 pages Lyons Press - English 9780762778485 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The story of the fourteen men - largely forgotten and never the subject of a full-length book - who created the American Olympic movement by winning eleven gold medals at the first modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens, timed for publication leading up to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2012 Olympics in London.
"Synopsis" by , From critically acclaimed American sports historian Jim Reisler comes the story of the fourteen athletes

whose triumphs at the 1896 Olympics in Athens launched the US Olympic movement.

Robert Garrett (Princeton)

Champion Discus

Champion Shot Put

Runner-up Long Jump

Third High Jump

Thomas Burke

(Boston Athletic Assoc.—BAA)

Champion 100 Meters

Champion 400 Meters

Ellery Clark (BAA; Harvard)

Champion Long Jump

Champion High Jump

James Connolly

(Suffolk Athletic Club,

Harvard)

Champion Triple Jump

Runner-up High Jump

Third Long Jump

Sumner Paine (BAA)

Champion Free Pistol

Runner-up 25-Meter Military Revolver

William Hoyt (BAA; Harvard)

Champion Pole Vault

110-Meter High Hurdles

Thomas Curtis (BAA)

Champion 110-Meter High Hurdles

 100 Meters

John Paine (BAA)

Champion 25-Meter Military Revolver

Albert Tyler (Princeton)

Runner-up Pole Vault

Arthur Blake (BAA)

Runner-up 1,500 Meters

Marathon

Herbert Jamison (Princeton)

Runner-up 400 Meters

Francis Lane (Princeton)

100 Meters

Charles Waldstein

Shooting

Gardner Williams (BAA)

 Swimming

"Synopsis" by ,

The first U.S. Olympic team—a ragtag group of 14 men, mostly Ivy Leaguers—caused a swell of national pride while taking home 11 gold medals and paving the way for generations of U.S. Olympians. Author Jim Reisler chronicles the growing American sports scene in the 19th Century, the men of influence who established a modern Olympics, and how a squad of moderately talented Americans, funded independently, competing without the backing of the Amateur Athletic Union or their universities, went off to Athens, anyway. By triumphing in their events, they won not only gold—but also the hearts and minds of the world.

Theirs was a strange journey to Greece—high jump training on a rolling transatlantic ship, nearly missed connections, practice runs among throngs of native children. But on the first day of Games, something unexpected happened. Bostons James Connolly won the triple jump (becoming the first Olympic champion in more than 1,500 years); Princetons Robert Garrett took gold in the discus, an event he had never tried before; all three American sprinters won their 100-meter heats. As American triumphs mounted, so did headlines, legitimizing the Games back home. But as fast as their star rose, somehow their story has been largely forgotten. Even more forgotten is the teams champion, William Mulligan Sloane, a Princeton professor of classics whose crucial role in establishing the modern Olympics has never before been adequately explored.

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