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Excerpt from Flaming Olympics



You do one of three things in athletics: run, jump or throw something.


For a running race you go as fast as you can. If it's a short race you go faster, and if it's a long race you go slower. You can still win a short race if you go slower, of course, so long as you go faster than everybody else. In the same way, you can lose a long race by going slower than somebody else who's going slow faster. Get it?

FIRST there were the Ancient Olympic Games - where men were naked and women were banned!


NEXT came the weird Wenlock Olympics - with eccentric events like the perilous pig chase and the potty pound of tea race.


NOW you can enjoy the modern Olympic Games, started by a bright spark in 1896 and still a roaring success in the 21st Century.


This illuminating guide tells you everything you need to know, from the absolute torch-ure of Flaming Olympic training, to some scorching performances dating back as far as 776BC. PLUS sizzling spectators, hot gossip and some blazing Olympic rows!

Jumping is either long, high or very high.


In long jumping you end up in a sand pit you're not allowed to play in.


High jumping is more fun because you dive onto a bouncy castle (without the castle bit), but

less fun because there's always a bar in the way!


For very high jumping (called pole-vaulting) you getter a better bounce, but you have to use a pole which is very awkward to fit into your bag.

Illustrations (c) Aidan Potts, 1996 and Mike Phillips, 2000, 2004, 2008

To remember the throwing events, think of school dinners.


The idea is to throw something as far as you can, and you can choose between a discus (a sort of dinner-less dinner plate), a javelin (a fork with only one prong), a shot (a school-dinner dumpling, but not quite so hard or heavy) or a hammer (a school-dinner dumpling before it's let out of its saucepan).

People who can't make up their mind what they like best can go in for all of them. The heptathlon is for women, and involves a mixture of seven events. Men are even worse at making up their mind, so they have a decathlon of ten events.

Flaming Olympics & Flaming Olympics Quiz


The quiz questions were originally published as a separate book, The Flaming Olympics Quiz Book.

The book is revised for every summer Olympic Games.

Previous covers:

cvflaming - 2000
cvflaming - 2004





The modern Olympics Games, which were held for the first time in Greece  in 1896, have now lasted for over 100 years. Will they survive for a thousand? That's just about the only question you won't find an answer to in this book!


What you will find are

* awesome athletics questions

* boggling boxing questions

* sensational cycling questions


In fact, questions on just about every event you find in both the summer and winter Olympics.


Will you be able to race through them fast? Will you get a high score? Will your teachers be strong enough not to cry when they get the wrong answers and you get the right ones?


There's only one way to find out. Let the Olympic Quiz Games begin!

"Pun-laden guide ... you have been warned" - Books Magazine


"An intriguing mixture of information, humour and activities and questions ... Sometimes you wince at the jokes, but overall it’s a good and easy read with cartoons of equal wit" - Daily Telegraph


"It's far more than simply a series of quiz questions; Coleman's approach stretches language, listening and deduction skills"

- Glasgow Sunday Herald


"The hundreds of questions and answers will give a fabulous insight into the Games" - South Wales Evening Post

Introduction to Quiz Section

cvflaming - 1996
Flaming Olympics cover - Rio 2016
cvflaming - 2008


2012 cover



(c) Michael Coleman 2020

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