Today We Die a Little: The Rise and Fall of Emil Zatopek, Olympic Legend (Hardback)
  • Today We Die a Little: The Rise and Fall of Emil Zatopek, Olympic Legend (Hardback)
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Today We Die a Little: The Rise and Fall of Emil Zatopek, Olympic Legend (Hardback)

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Hardback 480 Pages / Published: 21/04/2016
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Emil Zatopek was a phenomenon. He changed long distance running forever with his training techniques, his times and his achievements. He won the Olympic Gold Medals in 5000m, 10,000m & the Marathon: at the same Olympics! Incredibly he achieved all he did against the back drop of the Cold War and the cynical manipulation of sport by the Czechoslovak Communist regime. As a soldier in the Czechoslovak army, Zatopek was used as a tool to boost productivity at home and the regime's position internationally. There is an interesting internal debate in the book about how much Zatopek worked with the government actively or was simply a pawn. The post-1968 section of the book is in parts heart breaking, as a once-revered athlete is treated appallingly by the state he represented with such success.
It is perhaps the historical perspective which lifts this book beyond the average. Askwith, the author of Feet in the Clouds & Running Free, did extensive research in the Czech Republic and interviewed many of Zatopek's contemporaries including his wife, Dana, herself an Olympic champion. The result is a wonderfully told story of individual passion and commitment amidst a complex political background. 

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9780224100342
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 709 g
Dimensions: 224 x 144 x 32 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"A tale from athletics' age of innocence... He was a sporting hero not just for his time but for all time" * Spectator *
"A wonderfully in-depth and often emotionally charged piece of writing" * Athletics Weekly *
"An astonishing achievement... There are few writers as adept at capturing so lyrically the utter and incomprehensible strangeness of distance running... A joy to read" * Literary Review *
"Sport book of the year... A fascinating tale, showing all sides of Zatopek, injecting humanity and humour into a dramatic life" -- Matt Butler * i, Book of the Year *
"Reminds us of the pain and the glory behind every victory and the power of sport to bring people together and make history" -- Martina Navratilova
"A warm, honest and moving account of one of the greatest sportsmen of all time. Richard Askwith brings to life both the epic triumphs but also the difficulties and complexities of Zatopek's role in Communist Czechoslovakia" -- Adharanand Finn, author of Running with the Kenyans
"A portrait of a fine but flawed human." -- Nick Pitt * Sunday Times, Book of the Year *
"A tremendous read and also a reminder of the lost purity of track and field" -- Eileen Battersby * The Irish Times *
"Terrific" -- Huw Richards * Guardian *
"Before Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe, there was Emil Zatopek - a Czechoslovakian soldier turned long-distance runner turned Cold War victim. His four Olympic golds, 18 world records and Communist party career are all laid bare in this definitive account" * Shortlist *

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“"....a wonderfully told story of individual passion and commitment." ”

Emil Zatopek was a phenomenon. He changed long distance running forever with his training techniques, his times and his achievements. He won the Olympic Gold Medals in 5000m, 10,000m & the Marathon: at the same... More

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