JUDD-OLYMPIC
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Publisher: Mountaineers Books (February 2009)
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Flashbacks, gruesome accounts, victories relived, analysis, and competitors’ profiles of the Winter Olympics are revealed in Ron C. Judd’s captivating compendium titled The Winter Olympics: An Insider’s Guide to the Legends, Lore, and the Games.

Judd doesn’t just report the scores, the times, the winners and the losers. He relays the human drama that unfolds during the Games—the glorious victories and, yes, the gut-wrenching agonies—the very stuff that becomes tomorrow’s lore and legends.

Ron C. Judd is like a Joseph Campbell of the Olympic Games He writes of transcendent experiences, of impossible feats, and, he says, “of moments that are beyond description.”  But describing these moments is exactly what he does. Judd deftly captures and vividly relates the escalation of emotions, the split-second moments that separate the winners from the losers after decades of day-in and day-out grueling training, the sweaty reality of the Olympics along with the heady glory and magic he has witnessed and experienced first-hand.

The guide covers the history and beginnings of the Winter Games and the athletes who compete in them. Judd, a self-professed “ring-head” has been covering the Olympics as a journalist since the Nagano Games in 1998. He has been following the Games since he was in high school, which was when the 1980 Olympics took place in Lake Placid, New York.

Your interests about sport categories such as Curling will be piqued. Thanks to this entertaining guide, I finally understand how it played and scored. And why it is an Olympic Winter Game. Judd also reveals tantalizing tidbits such as who are sex symbols of Curling. Yes, Curling has its idols, too

Discover the fun facts and interesting anecdotes of the Winter Games as Judd guides you through the intricacies of rules and strategies of sports such as cross-country skiing and Nordic combined competitions. Finding out how the first biathlon races got started (Hint: It has something to do with caribou.) is just one of the reasons why this book is such a fun and entertaining guide. It goes beyond the basics of regulations and scoring.

Judd addresses the age old debate that takes place mostly in pubs: The question of whether figure skating is a sport or an art. He describes how the Figure Skating competitions are judged or rather how they are supposedly judged.  After reading his tome, you will agree with Judd that figure skating is not for the meek or the weak.

On that note, I was intrigued to see if he had anything to say about that Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan debacle. He does. You, too, can read about the rest of the story in The Winter Olympics. 

Judd treats his readers to the true insider’s account of “the agony of defeat” film footage.  You know—the one that was shown over and over—on the opening of ABC’s Wide World of Sports program for what must seem like an eternity to the poor guy who was filmed crashing while ski jumping. And why did we as an audience watched him crash over and over? Because as Judd writes ever so eloquently: “He is us, and we are him…” in victory and in defeat.

The action-packed full-colored photographs that permeate The Winter Games are enough of a reason to purchase it just to have on your coffee table.  However, it is an authoritative and intelligently written reference guide about the Winter Games.  Judd continuously acknowledges that he is one fortunate guy to have witnessed firsthand history in the making. He never tires of the Games. And neither do the fans. This book is the superlative guide to the Winter Games.

It is Judd’s insider, behind-the-scenes stories of intrigue  that entertain and educate us.  The lore and legends that he has gleaned from his years as a dedicated “ring-head” journalist, along with his effusive admiration of the dedicated athletes who compete, earns The Winter Olympics: An Insider’s Guide to the Legends, the Lore, and the Games a gold medal.

 

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