'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.

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