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January 02 , 2011

OLYMPIAD V The Fantastically True Story of the 1912 United States Olympic Team


On a summers day in June, two months to the day after the sinking of the Titanic, the United States Olympic team, smartly dressed in new uniforms and preceded by a brass band, makes it's way through cheering crowds and a blizzard of confetti to New York harbor.
Awaiting them the flower bedecked SS Finland, chartered transport to Stockholm, Sweden, host of the 1912 games.
Among it's members, twenty three year old All American football star Jim Thorpe and his coach Glen "Pop" Warner.
From Hawaii, twenty year old record shattering waterman Duke Kahanamoku and competing in the modern Pentathlon of fencing, pistol marksmanship, steeplechase, cross country running and swimming, twenty five year old U. S. Army second lieutenant George S. Patton.
Caught up in the excitement of the parade a young boy and his dog are swept aboard the Finland and impulsively stow away, finding shelter in one of the extra lifeboats kept on deck in response to the recent Titanic catastrophe.
After the ship is underway, his discovery forces the Captain of the Finland to order his return to New York. However, Colonel M. Thompson, President of the American Olympic Association agrees to pay his fare and he is elected Mascot of the team.
Sharing a cabin in third class with the athletes of color, sixteen year old Harry Naughton of Toledo, Ohio is witness to and narrates the competition, conflicts and friendships that manifest during the Atlantic crossing and the games of the fifth Olympiad.
Aboard the floating gymnasium, across ballroom dance floors and finally in the Olympic arena, the dizzying heights and crushing lows of athletic competition are dramatized through the interaction of some of the most prominent men of the last Century.
Fueled by the embryonic stirrings and first volleys of the civil rights and Suffragette movements, their stories combine to create a dynamic and universally resonant tale.
Told with an eye for truth and a willingness to reevaluate his own prejudice, Harry invites us to join him as he embraces life, meets the King of Sweden and "finds the Olympics".

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