Inside the Olympics: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Politics, the Scandals, and the Glory of the Games

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9780470834541: Inside the Olympics: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Politics, the Scandals, and the Glory of the Games

A candid look at how the Olympic rings got so tarnished-from a top IOC insider

Bribery, illicit drugs, tainted judges, dirty politics . . . the Olympics have come a long way from ancient Greece. Far from the vaunted symbol of athletic excellence, the Olympic games have become awash in scandal (from doping and judging scandals, questionable selection practices for future sites) that have given it a tawdry luster only cynics and news junkies would relish. Now, Dick Pound, a former Olympic medalist and twenty-five year member of the IOC gives an insider's account of the politics within the IOC as well as an unsensationalistic look at what went on behind the headlines. As controversial as the games themselves have become, Inside the Olympics is a fascinating, no-holds-barred look at just how the Olympics and their legacy have foundered.

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From the Inside Flap:

EVERY TWO YEARS, WORLD ATTENTION TURNS TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES FOR A FEW SHORT WEEKS, IN A CELEBRATION OF ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE, COMPETITION, AND NATIONAL PRIDE.

But in recent years, the Olympic ideal has also been tainted by scandals, greed, and corruption—from bribery, to doping, cheating politics, and exploitation.

Never shy of the issues, Pound reveals the full inside story—both good and bad—of the Games. He sheds a bright light on many controversial events and issues surrounding the Olympics, including the Salt Lake City bribery scandal, the figure sakting judging fiasco of the 2002 Winter Olymics, terrorism, human rights, the conduct of IOC and sports officials themselves, and the doping scandals that he considers the greatest threat to sports today.

Since he competed as an Olympic athlete himself, Pound has witnessed and been party to enormous changes over almost half a century in the world of sport and politics, and has served under the leadership of four IOC presidents. He offers a fascinating look at negotiations in the high-stakes worlds of television rights and corporate sponsorships and at the politics, backstabbing, and intrigues that take place behind the scenes in the world of international sports.

At times damning, at others prescriptive, sometimes amusing, but always honest and insightful, Inside the Olympics gives a rare personal view on the business, the personalities, the ideals, and the organization behind the world's greatest sporting event.

From the Back Cover:

"You won't always agree with Dick Pound...but his 'no holds barred' approach to so many major issues will keep you reading all night long."
—Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Sports and Olympics

"The Olympic Games exist for the benefit of the athletes and not the IOC. Many IOC members still don't get it; however, Dick Pound [a former Olympic swimmer] certainly does. His unique view from inside the Olympic Movement is told in his usual straightforward manner, with his special blend of idelism and cynicism."
—Brian williams, CBC, Veteran Broadcaster and Olympic Host

"The only man who could have written this book has done it with candor and style. A lucid and penetrating look at the five-ringed world, filled with Dick Pound's customary insight, frankness and wit. Inside the Olympics wins gold, silver and bronze."
—John Powers, Boston Globe

"Pound takes us through the Olympic landscape with insight and opinion and on one of the biggest problems we all face: drugs in sport, he has always stood shoulder to shoulder with the good guys."
—Sebastian Coe, OBE, double Olympic Gold 1500-meter champion

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