Fire in the Belly, by Carole Wilkinson

We shall not have peace until the prejudices which now separate the different races shall have been outlived. To attain this end, what better means than to bring the youth of all countries periodically together for amicable trials of muscular strength and agility?

When Frenchman Baron de Coubertin proposed and founded the modern Olympic Games, it is unlikely even he could have foreseen just how big and how important to the world this event would become.

Since the first games, held in Athens in 1896 and featuring 241 Athletes from just 14 countries competing in 9 sports, the Olympic movement has grown so that in recent games around ten thousand athletes from 200 countries have competed in 28 different sports. More importantly, the games have also, as the Baron hoped, come to be about much more than sport and winning.

In Fire in the Belly award-winning children’s author Carole Wilkinson traces the history of the Olympic movement from its roots in ancient Greece, to its reinvention by the Baron, right through until modern times. Each Games from Athens (1896) till Sydney (2000) is profiled, with information about the number of countries, athletes and sports, a general overview of the event, interesting highlights and first person recounts of key events. There are plenty of interesting facts and quirky tales that will fascinate young sports fans.

Fire in the Belly is a fascinating read, from an author who makes nonfiction just as readable as fiction for primary aged readers.

Fire in the Belly, by Carole Wilkinson
Black Dog Books, 2004