Since the Olympics are now going full blast and getting comments from all over, I thought I’d add my two pence worth and look around the web to see if there are any literary associations worth noting.
It didn’t surprise me to learn that the ancient Greeks paid poets to write in praise of their sporting events. It did surprise me that from 1912 to 1952 there was a poetry competition alongside the sporting. Details can be found on one of the Library of Congress blogs. Other arts were also included.
East Tennessee State University apparently has a course on the Olympics and gives a reading list of books and films.
There’s a website called Poetry Olympics. It doesn’t seem to have much to do with sport, but using the name ‘Olympics’ indicates that they are aiming to be the best of the best.
Amazon has a page devoted to Olympic books, including fiction, but none of the titles meant anything to me. I think the most famous semi-fictional treatment of the Games is probably the film Chariots of Fire – and the musical score is at least as famous as the script.