What became of the Cotswold Olimpicks?
Today, the Olympic Games is a byword for slick professionalism, from the meticulous training regimes of the athletes, to the extraordinary, spectacular opening ceremonies. However, the history of the Games is not marked by the kind of perfectionism we tend to see today. Until fairly recently, the Olympic Games were frequently dogged by blunders, controversies, and scandals, and so this book will explore the wackier, lighter side of the Olympics.
What became of the Cotswold Olimpicks? will be packed full of bizarre and obscure stories from the history of the Olympic Games, going back as far as the ancient Olympics, which began in 776 B.C. The book will take in a range of bizarre detours, including the Cotswold Olimpicks of the title – a rustic sporting extravaganza which began in Gloucestershire in 1612, and continued until the mid-nineteenth century, until the enormous rowdy crowds the festival attracted caused the event to be cancelled.
The book will answer a whole range of bizarre questions, such as…
- Why did long-jumper Meyer Prinstein punch his rival in the face?
- Which was the first horse in Olympic history to be caught taking a banned substance?
- Which Olympic sport used to require its participants to smoke cigarettes?
- Did athletes at the ancient Olympics compete naked?
- Which Olympic Games featured motorboat racing?
- Were horses used in early water polo?
- Why did Emanuel Rego try to give away his gold medal?
- What was the ‘dirtiest race in history’?
- Which Olympic sport has the most baffling scoring system?
- In which race do you gain an advantage by staying still?
- Why are high jumpers getting worse?
- Why was there no British team at the first Modern Olympics?
- Who completed an Olympic marathon in 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 8 hours, 32 minutes and 20.3 seconds?
- Which Olympic champion died without ever knowing they had even competed at the Olympic Games?
What became of the Cotswold Olimpicks? will make an ideal gift for sports fans of all ages, and has the potential to develop into a series of humorous, sports-themed books. It will be ideally timed to coincide with the London Olympics in 2012.
David Haviland is a writer, editor, and ghostwriter, with a number of bestselling books to his name, which have been sold to publishers all over the world and widely serialised.David has written a number of books of amusing trivia and popular science. The most recent, How To Remove A Brain (Summersdale, 2012), is a collection of fascinating stories and anecdotes concerning the history of medicine and health. This book was previously published by Penguin in the US as Why You Should Store Your Farts in a Jar.David's next book is a myth-busting guide to history, revealing the truth behind many...
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