www.olympic.orgOLYMPIC REVIEW79MICHEL DESAEDELEERBelgian national hockey team playerMichel De Saedeleer, who part-icipated in the Olympic tournamentat the 1972 Games in Munich, haspassed away. "Coco" De Saedeleerwas selected for the national team53 times between 1969 and 1974.He was a member of the BelgianNOC from 1981 to 1992. He alsoplayed an important role in theBelgian Royal Hockey Association, ofwhich he was Secretary Generalfrom 2001 to 2005.TRENTONJACKSONUS sprinter Trenton Jackson died on25 March at the age of 65 inRochester, New York. Nicknamed"Franklin Flash", he competed atthe Games in Tokyo in 1964, wherehe qualified for the 100m semi-finals. He unfortunately strained ahamstring, finished last in his raceand could therefore not compete inthe Olympic final, which was wonby his compatriot Bob Hayes. Heplayed American football for a shorttime with the Philadelphia Eaglesand the Washington Redskins. LaterJackson trained the basketball teamat his college, the Franklin HighSchool in Rochester, for 26 years.MARIA LENKBrazilian swimming championMaria Lenk died in Rio de Janeiroat the age of 92. She was the firstSouth American woman to competein the Olympic Games, in 1932 inLos Angeles, when she was 17. She also took part in the Games inBerlin four years later. Maria Lenkwas inducted into the FINA Hall ofFame in 1988. She recentlyattended a ceremony at the waterpark currently being built for thisyear's Pan-American Games, whichwill be named after her. TheBrazilian NOC declared a three-dayperiod of national mourning intribute to the swimmer whoreceived the Brazilian OlympicAward in 2004.DUMITRUPIRVULESCUThe Romanian Olympic Committeeannounced the death of DumitruPirvulescu on 9 April. Romania's firstOlympic wrestling champion died atthe age of 73 after a heart attack.Specialising in Greco-Romanwrestling, Pirvulescu won theOlympic title in the 52 kg categoryat the 1960 Games in Rome,followed by a bronze four years laterin Tokyo. He also competed in the1952 and 1956 Games.
80OLYMPIC REVIEWwww.olympic.orgBOOKREVIEWSIn the last century, the French did not really seethemselves as a sporting nation. This statement mayastonish those who see their athletic exploits today andtake note of the current French champions in track andfield, skiing, weightlifting, gymnastics and women'stennis among others, not to mention Laure Manaudou(pictured right), who is arguably one of the finest femaleswimmers in the world. There was a time, however,when this was not the case. The French did not considerexercise an essential activity, and the international resultsobtained over the past 80 years seldom gave reason forpride. A collective sense of deficiency became apparentaround 1960. One remembers Charles de Gaulle voicingsome concern after witnessing the poor performance ofthe French team at the Rome Olympic Games (the teamdid not win any gold medals).It has been argued that the elite themselves couldbe held responsible for this muscular deficiency, sincethey often despised physical exercise. Can it be saidthat the origin of this disdain may be found in theCatholic view of the body understood as a "tatteredthing"? The caricature of the "tall, strong and dumb"athlete influenced the way sport was taught in thenational education "à la française". To highlight thispoint even further, one must not forget Henri deMontherlant, who, at the age of 29, published LesOlympiquesin 1924. It was only later when he wasconsidered one of the best French writers of his timeand questioned about his passion for athletics did heanswer flatly that nothing about it interested him anymore. The new Pindar had defected to enemy ranks!In the country of Voltaire and Hugo, those whowanted to subscribe to a solid physical education policyalways had to refer to the British model: Pierre deCoubertin, Jules Rimet (inventor of football's World Cup),or Jacques Goddet, the charismatic director of L'Équipeand the Tour de France for the past 50 years.However, in 1910, some of the athletic intellectuals,who did not disdain mixing brawn and brains, createdthe association of French sports writers (Association desÉcrivains Sportifs). Towards the end of the century,Bernard Destremau (1917-2002), who was President ofthe association, as well as a diplomat, writer andcaptain of the Davis Cup French tennis team, wished toactualise an anthology incorporating the writings of the60 or so prize-winners of the association. Its primaryaim was to make the association's existence knownwhile offering a varied panorama of sports texts. Sadlyto say, Bernard Destremau died before seeing the workcome to fruition. The torch however was passed on, andthe work was taken up by the next President, MoniqueANTHOLOGIEDELALITTÉRATURESPORTIVEMON RÊVEOLYMPIQUE By: Antoine Dénériaz. Publisher: Altal, 2006. ISBN: 2-916736-01-8, 157 pages, in French.An athlete's autobiography: not very original, you may think! And yet, this book reveals humanity at its mostcombative and at its wisest. The sportsman gives usan insight into his world, that of alpine skiing, andmore broadly, that of sport and competition. His success is as much thanks to the support ofhis family and a particularly close-knit team as to hisown efforts and perseverance. Antoine Dénériaz proves through his own examplethat alone, one can not accomplish the greatestachievement for an athlete who participates in theOlympic Games: a gold medal.TRIUMPH THE UNTOLDSTORY OF JESSE OWENSAND HITLER'S OLYMPICSBy: Jeremy Schaap. Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007.ISBN: 0-618-68822-6, 272 pages, in English.Jeremy Schaap delivers a powerful lesson in historyand humanity as he looks at the achievements of JesseOwens at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Starting withthe childhood in the 1920s of the Afro-Americanathlete, the author describes his fascinating sportingcareer that culminates in international recognition at theOlympic Games. Above all, he brings to life theatmosphere of pre-War Germany where Jesse Owens'success was the antithesis of Hitler's myth of Aryansuperiority. The book contains a series of internalmonologues and imaginary dialogues that make it anenjoyable read and reinforce its documentary value. It isneither a complete biography nor a history of the 1936Berlin Olympic Games, but a tribute to a man whothrough his courage and determination took the valuesof sport to the highest level.COPAIN DES SPORTSLE GUIDE DES PETITSSPORTIFS INTERFÉDÉRALBELGE, 1906-2006By: Serge Guérin. Publisher: Milanjeunesse, 2006. ISBN: 2-7459-2283-1, 300 pages, in French.This updated edition of Copain des Sportsshoulddelight all budding athletes. Richly illustrated withcharts, diagrams, photos and tables, it gives a detailedpresentation of more than 100 sports, from the bestknown to the more obscure. For each sport, there is afull explanation of the necessary equipment, the rightage to practise it, the organisation of competitions, theperformances of the great champions, etc. The authoralso suggests a series of exercises for each sport, aswell as tips for improving. This book can help youngathletes discover and choose a sport, or simply enjoythe amazing and entertaining information it has to offer. Selection proposed by the IOC Library, 1, Quai d'Ouchy, P.O. Box 1001, Lausanne, Switzerland. Tel. +41 (0)21 621 66 11. Fax +41(0)21 621 67 18. Visit the website www.olympic.org/library (loansservice, on-line catalogue, list of new acquisitions, lists of themed bibliographies).ANTHOLOGY OF SPORTS LITERATURE, BYASSOCIATION DES ÉCRIVAINS SPORTIFS, (ASSOCIATION OFFRENCH SPORTS WRITERS). ISBN:2-84394-993-9. 552 PAGES. REVIEWED BYÉRIC LAHMY