With a complete statistical record since the 1896 founding of the modern Games—including medals won and times, distances, or scores recorded by the top eight competitors in all events (from staples such as the marathon to long-discontinued competitions such as the tug of war), this encyclopedic tome contains anything anyone could ever need or want to know about the modern Olympic Games. Far from a dry compendium of names, numbers, and scoring systems, this book also contains a summary history of every event at each of the 26 modern Games, enriched with an extraordinary wealth of Olympic lore and anecdote. The authors provide thought-provoking analysis of issues and controversies from shamateurism to drug-taking and corruption, and they have sieved through more than a century of Olympic history to assemble a mind-boggling collection of stories that range from the inspiring, through the comic, to the bizarre. Such long-forgotten characters are included as the boy who was plucked from the streets of Paris to navigate for two Dutch oarsmen in the paired-oar event in 1900 and, after steering them to victory and a Gold Medal, returned to obscurity, his name unknown to this day; or the 72-year-old winner of a silver medal for target-shooting.