Olympic Resources

by Emily Hamstra

I can’t get enough of the Olympic Games. Whether you love the Olympics or are already growing weary of the coverage, we all have patrons who will be asking for resources related to the Olympics. I pulled together some resources related to the Olympic Games to help as you put together displays, and answer readers’ advisory and reference questions.

Online resources:

The Olympic Studies Centre has a library of resources related to rules of the Olympic Games, history of the Olympic Games, champion records, and funding opportunities for those interested in Olympic studies, to name a few.

The International Olympic Committee Library (IOC Library) contains Olympic publications. Search for your favorite sport to read about the events at the London Games brochures, and to see brochures from Olympic games of the past.

The LA84 Foundation has made available an interesting collection of journals, bulletins, oral histories with Olympic athletes, and results from Olympic games.

If you’re interested in images, the Guardian has collected some photos of the Opening Ceremonies from 1924-2008. Library as Incubator has a post about images from past Olympic games.

If your library has a subscription to the database SPORTDiscus, search there for more comprehensive coverage of scholarly journals and trade publications related to sports, kinesiology, and fitness.

Books about the Olympic Games, Olympic athletes, and other sporty reads:

How to Watch the Olympics by David Goldblatt and Johnny Acton

Dream Team: how Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the greatest team of all time conquered the world and changed the game of basketball forever by Jack McCallum

How Soccer Explains the World: an unlikely theory of globalization by Franklin Foer

Running for my Life: one Lost Boy’s journey from the killing fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games by Lopez Lomong and Mark A. Tabb

Born to Run: a hidden tribe, superathletes, and the greatest race the world has ever seen by Christopher McDougall

What I Talk about When I Talk about Running by Haruki Marukami
In this book, the bestselling Japanese fiction writer reflects on running and writing.

Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the revolution in women’s sports by Susan Ware
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX. I couldn’t resist adding this book to the list.

Long Distance: testing the limits of the body and spirit in a year of living strenuously by Bill McKibben

Stan Greenberg’s Olympic Almanack: the encyclopedia of the Olympic Games by Stan Greenberg
This reference book gives a detailed history of the Olympic Games from 1896 through 2006.

Gold by Chris Cleave
Two best friends, cyclists, compete for the gold medal.

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
In the midst of the Rwandan genocide, runner Jean Patrick Nkuba dreams of competing in the Olympics.

See also:
Simon & Schuster has a list of books about Olympians.

Amazon has a mammoth list of books about the Olympic Games.

Please add your favorite books and online resources! I recognize that this collection of resources is lacking resources for youth, so share any of your favorites.

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