The Naked Olympics by Tony Perrottet
The True Story of the Ancient Games

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What was it like to attend the ancient Olympic Games?

With the summer Olympics’ return to Athens, Tony Perrottet delves into the ancient world and lets the Greek Games begin again. The acclaimed author of Pagan Holiday brings attitude, erudition, and humor to the fascinating story of the original Olympic festival, tracking the event day by day to re-create the experience in all its compelling spectacle.

Using firsthand reports and little-known sources—including an actual Handbook for a Sports Coach used by the Greeks—The Naked Olympics creates a vivid picture of an extravaganza performed before as many as forty thousand people, featuring contests as timeless as the javelin throw and as exotic as the chariot race.

Peeling away the layers of myth, Perrottet lays bare the ancient sporting experience—including the round-the-clock bacchanal inside the tents of the Olympic Village, the all-male nude workouts under the statue of Eros, and history’s first corruption scandals involving athletes. Featuring sometimes scandalous cameos by sports enthusiasts Plato, Socrates, and Herodotus, The Naked Olympics offers essential insight into today’s Games and an unforgettable guide to the world’s first and most influential athletic festival.

"Just in time for the modern Olympic games to return to Greece this summer for the first time in more than a century, Tony Perrottet offers up a diverting primer on the Olympics of the ancient kind….Well researched; his sources are as solid as sources come. It's also well writen….Perhaps no book of the season will show us so briefly and entertainingly just how complete is our inheritance from the Greeks, vulgarity and all."
--The Washington Post

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Tony Perrottet

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Tony Perrottet is the author of Pagan Holiday: On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists.He has written for the New York Times, Esquire, Outside, Civilization, Islands, and The Sunday Times(London). He is Australian and lives in Manhattan with his wife and son.

Author Residence: New York.

Author Hometown: Sydney
Published June 8, 2004 by Random House. 240 pages
Genres: History, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Naked Olympics

Kirkus Reviews

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A trip back 2,500 years to the original Olympic Games: though lacking sponsorship from mighty auto manufacturers, they still reveal many congruencies with current Olympic practices.

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Publishers Weekly

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Combining a wealth of vivid details with a knack for narrative pacing and subtle humor, Perrottet (Pagan Holiday ) renders a striking portrayal of the Greek Olymp

Apr 12 2004 | Read Full Review of The Naked Olympics: The True ...

Publishers Weekly

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While Perrottet also outlines events ranging from the merciless chariot races to the pankration—a sort of early predecessor of ultimate fighting in which strangulation was seen as the surest means of attaining victory—he also puts the games in their heavy religious context and gives readers a str...

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The cover (see picture to the left) featured what looked like an ancient painting of a group of naked Greek runners (more on this below) in seemingly modern running shoes (still not sure what's up with that), but I was intrigued and decided to take the book home with me.

Jun 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Naked Olympics: The True ...

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