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Their Day in the Sun: Women of the 1932 Olympics Hardcover – October, 1996

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Univ of Washington Pr; 1ST edition (October 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0295975539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0295975535
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,220,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As anyone whose followed the Olympics this year knows, women made up nearly half of the American Olympic team that went to Atlanta and represented the country's best hopes for medals. But 64 years before Jackie Joyner-Kersee and the women's basketball team strutted their stuff in Atlanta, the first female Olympians were given trowels "to dig 'starting holes' in the cinder track surface" and divers "practiced timing and kept legs in shape on a springboard, making their usual approaches and hurdles and landing on a thin mat." Pieroth, an historian who taught phys-ed and water safety for many years, outlines the athletes' lives, taking the reader through the trials, the Olympics, and their experiences after they returned from Los Angeles. The result is a delightful tale of pain and gain with disapproving parents and media, a swimmer who turned down an offer to join the Ziegfeld Follies to train for the Olympic team and, of course, the swaggering Babe Didrickson. "If there is anything more dreadful aesthetically or more depressing than the fatigue-distorted face of a girl runner at the finish line," wrote one journalist, "I have never seen it." It didn't change the status of women's sports overnight (in 1939, for example, Minnesota outlawed strenuous competition for girls). But for that year, before politics hijacked the games, even journalists cheered for the girls and women who defied the norms of the day to win fans and medals.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Olympic swimming events for women began in 1912, but it was not until 1928 that track and field events were included. Many sportwriters wrote that the appearance of women runners was "dreadful" and "depressing." That is why the extraordinary medal count of the 37 U.S. women, including the fabled Babe Didrikson, during the 1932 games was so pivotal in changing America's attitudes toward women athletes. Historian Pieroth has written an account of these Olympians, relating the various roads each woman took, the controversies, the Hollywood glamor, and the drama at the competition. She also includes an epilog that tells of their post-Olympic lives. The author enlivens her research with interviews of 14 surviving athletes as well as many eyewitnesses. Thus, not only the bare facts, which are very detailed, but also the personal stories are recorded. This is a fine contribution to women's sports history. Recommended for academic libraries.?Kathy Ruffle, Coll. of New Caledonia Lib., Prince George, B.C.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Amazon Customer on April 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
I love this book! Mrs. Pickett-Phillips was my elementary school principal in Ford Heights , Illinois and was a great educator and woman. Too bad She never got a chance to actually compete. It was definitely an eye opening experience to read what really happened in 1932. I highly recommend this book and urge The USOC to right this overdue wrong!
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