Lifetime of Training for Just Ten Seconds (Hardcover)

Olympians in Their Own Words

By Richard Witt

A&C Black, 9781408164037, 208pp.

Publication Date: July 3, 2012

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


'I hope the Romanian doesn't get through, because I can't pronounce her bloody name.'
Allegedly from David Coleman, British radio and TV commentator, at one of his many Olympic coverages, when he thought he was off air.

A Lifetime of Training for Just 10 Seconds is a collection of quotations from Olympic athletes, eyewitnesses and commentators through the ages, whether written, broadcast, overheard or misreported. They are inspiring, devastating - often hilarious - and a fascinating insight into the Games, the people who watch and compete in them, and those labouring and slithering behind the scenes. The notes following the quotes give a potted history of the Games and its cast of characters.

'These are the Olympics; you die before you quit.'
The great American discus thrower, Al Oerter, winner of four successive gold medals (1956-1968). For the third of these in Tokyo, he competed despite excruciating pain from a torn rib cartilage, strapped up and iced.

About the Author

Richard Witt was Head of English Translations (2001-2004) for the Organising
Committee of the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad.