The watermen : a young swimmer's fight for america's first gold and the birth of the modern olympics / Michael Loynd.
- ISBN: 9780593357040
- ISBN: 0593357043
- Physical Description: 396 pages : black and white photographs ; 24 cm
- Edition: First edition.
- Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 
|Bibliography, etc. Note:||
Includes bibliographical references.
"In the early twentieth century, few Americans knew how to swim, and as a competitive sport, it was almost unheard of. That is, until Charles Daniels took to the water. On the surface, young Charles had it all: high-society parents, a place at an exclusive New York City prep school, summer vacations in the Adirondacks. But the scrawny teenager suffered from extreme anxiety and a sadistic father who mired the family in bankruptcy and scandal before abandoning Charles and his mother altogether. Charles's only source of joy was swimming. But with no one to teach him, he struggled with technique-until he caught the eye of two immigrant coaches hell-bent on building a U.S. swim program to rival the British Empire's seventy-year domination of the sport. Interwoven with the story of Charles's struggle to overcome his family's disgrace is the compelling history of the struggle to establish the modern Olympics in an era when competitive sports were still in their infancy. When the powerful British Empire finally legitimized the Games by hosting 1908's fourth Olympiad, Charles's hard-fought rise climaxed in a gold-medal race where British judges set a trap to ensure the American upstart's defeat. Set in the early days of a rapidly changing twentieth century, The Watermen-a term used at the time to describe men skilled in water sports-tells an engrossing story of grit, of the growth of a major new sport in which Americans would prevail, and of a young man's determination to excel"-- Provided by publisher.
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|Subject:||Daniels, Charles M., 1885-1973.
Swimmers > United States > Biography.
Olympic athletes > United States > Biography.
Swimming > History > 20th century.
Olympics > History > 20th century.