Olympics

As we sit back and enjoy the 2012 Olympics, we are reminded of the trials, tribulations, sweat and tears men and women endure in order to gain a spot on the Olympic team. Although most of us aren’t record holding runners or goal scoring soccer players, we can live vicariously through our list of the best novels and films that define what it means to be a world-class athlete. So take off those running shoes or swimming fins, and get ready to lose yourself in these incredible stories. These books can be found on the shelves of the San Francisco Public Library!

1.  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (2010)
Know what its like to be kept captive in a Japanese POW prison? If your answer is no (or even if it’s yes!), then grab this inspiring novel about the real life Olympic runner who goes from gold winner to famished prisoner.

2.  Into Thin Air by John Krakauer (1996)
Lost and hurt during Mount Everest’s deadliest season, Krakauer records his treacherous tale down the summit of the world’s most perilous peak.

3.  Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (2001)
Overcoming his unfortunately crooked leg and sad tail, this lethargic and neurotic horse surpassed all odds and became a renowned race horse. Advisory: don’t forget the tissue box

4.  “Bend It Like Beckham” (2002)
This touching comedy follows a young Indian woman rebelling against her parent’s traditional views to play professional soccer.

5.  “Million Dollar Baby” (2004)
Why wouldn’t you want to see a movie with Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman? This gripping drama will have you practicing your left hook punch in your free time.

6.  “The Guardian” (2006)
Since most of us aren’t part of the elite world of the U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers, we will have to settle with watching this heart wrenching film about the unsung guardians of the sea.

7.  “Stick It” (2006)
Gymnastics gets a lot more feminine with this sassy take on the competitive world of back hand springs, vaults, and front aerials.

8.  The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games by Tony Perrottet
Peeling away layers of myths, Perottet lays bare the ancient sporting events in this unforgettable piece of history.

9.  The Olympics: A History of the Modern Games by Alan Guttmann
In this savvy social history, Guttmann discovers the real game of politics and the desire for global dominance during the Olympic Games.

10.  “Chariots of Fire” (1981)
Despite all odds, a Scottish missionary and a Jew come together in the face of an international powder keg to earn a spot on the 1924 British Olympic running team.

As we sit back and enjoy the 2012 Olympics, we are reminded of the trials, tribulations, sweat and tears men and women endure in order to gain a spot on the Olympic team. Although most of us aren’t record holding runners or goal scoring soccer players, we can live vicariously through our list of the best novels and films that define what it means to be a world-class athlete. So take off those running shoes or swimming fins, and get ready to lose yourself in these incredible stories. These books can be found on the shelves of the San Francisco Public Library!

  1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (2010)

Know what its like to be kept captive in a Japanese POW prison? If your answer is no (or even if it’s yes!), then grab this inspiring novel about the real life Olympic runner who goes from gold winner to famished prisoner.

  1. Into Thin Air by John Krakauer (1996)

Lost and hurt during Mount Everest’s deadliest season, Krakauer records his treacherous tale down the summit of the world’s most perilous peak.

  1. Sea Biscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (2001)

Overcoming his unfortunately crooked leg and sad tail, this lethargic and neurotic horse surpassed all odds and became a renowned race horse. Advisory: don’t forget the tissue box

  1. “Bend It Like Beckham” (2002)

This touching comedy follows a young Indian woman rebelling against her parent’s traditional views to play professional soccer.

  1. “Million Dollar Baby” (2004)

Why wouldn’t you want to see a movie with Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, and Morgan Freeman? This gripping drama will have you practicing your left hook punch in your free time.

  1. “The Guardian” (2006)

Since most of us aren’t part of the elite world of the U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers, we will have to settle with watching this heart wrenching film about the unsung guardians of the sea.

  1. “Stick It” (2006)

Gymnastics gets a lot more feminine with this sassy take on the competitive world of back hand springs, vaults, and front aerials.

  1. The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games by Tony Perrottet

Peeling away layers of myths, Perottet lays bare the ancient sporting events in this unforgettable piece of history.

  1. The Olympics: A History of the Modern Games by Alan Guttmann

In this savvy social history, Guttmann discovers the real game of politics and the desire for global dominance during the Olympic Games.

10.     “Chariots of Fire” (1981)

Despite all odds, a Scottish missionary and a Jew come together in the face of an international powder keg to earn a spot on the 1924 British Olympic running team.

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