Books About Every Summer Olympic Sport

Books About Every Summer Olympic Sport: Biographies, Histories, and More

Every four years we all tune in to to watch the worlds most incredible athletes. For most of us, it’s the only time we ever even think of many of the sports involved but for the athletes and coaches (and their families!) it’s the culmination of a lifetime of work.

One of the best ways to really get to know the stories involved behind the scenes of what we get to see on tv is by reading about it!

okay yes, ‘reading about it’ is my answer for learning about anything soo we’re not taking on anything new here.😅

This is a very big collection covering books about every summer Olympic sport. Some of the new and more obscure sports don’t have any, yet, while a few others have SO many they had to end up in an entirely separate post. Maybe you want a memoir from a favorite athlete, an in depth look at why gymnastics moved on from it’s perfect 10 scoring system, or the history behind how a basketball Dream Team came together. This is where you’re going to find everything you could want to read about the summer Olympics!


Athletics (Track & Field)

Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics
by Jeremy Schaap // Amazon // Audiobook
“In 1936, against a backdrop of swastikas flying and storm troopers looming, an African-American son of sharecroppers set three world records and won an unprecedented four gold medals, single-handedly crushing Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy.”
books about every summer olympic sport

26 Marathons: What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from My Marathon Career
by Meb Keflezighi, Scott Douglas // Amazon // Audiobook
“Meb’s last marathon was also his twenty-sixth, and each of those marathons has come with its own unique challenges, rewards, and outcomes. In 26 Marathons, Meb takes readers on those legendary races, along every hill, bend, and unexpected turn of events that made each marathon an exceptional learning experience, and a fascinating story.”
books about every summer olympic sport

Faster than Lightning
by Usain Bolt // Amazon
“Usain tells his story in his own words: from humble beginnings in Jamaica, to international stardom at Beijing and on to the new heights of superstardom he has reached since lighting up London 2012.”
books about every summer olympic sport

Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas
by Alexi Pappas // Amazon // Audiobook
“The Olympic runner, actress, filmmaker and writer Alexi Pappas shares what she’s learned about confidence, self-reliance, mental health, embracing pain, and achieving your dreams.”
books about every summer olympic sport

Running for My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games
by Lopez Lomong // Amazon // Audiobook
“Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike-sponsored athlete on the U.S. Olympic Team. Though most of us fall somewhere between the catastrophic lows and dizzying highs of Lomong’s incredible life, every reader will find in his story the human spark to pursue dreams that might seem unthinkable, even from circumstances that might appear hopeless.”
books about every summer olympic sport


Miracle on Grass
by David Fanucchi // Amazon
“They were the 2000 USA Baseball Olympic Team, a ragtag group of players that had never played together. Led by Hall-of-Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, who came out of retirement to lead the charge for his country, they pulled off the greatest upset in Olympic baseball history.”

books about every summer olympic sport


Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever
by Jack McCallum // Amazon // Audiobook
“The untold story of the greatest team ever assembled: the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team. Dream Team vividly re-creates the moment when a once-in-a-millennium group of athletes came together and changed the future of sports—one perfectly executed fast break at a time.”

books about every summer olympic sport

Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany
by Andrew Maraniss // Amazon // Audiobook
“On a scorching hot day in July 1936, thousands of people cheered as the U.S. Olympic teams boarded the S.S. Manhattan, bound for Berlin. Among the athletes were the 14 players representing the first-ever U.S. Olympic basketball team. As thousands of supporters waved American flags on the docks, it was easy to miss the one courageous man holding a BOYCOTT NAZI GERMANY sign. But it was too late for a boycott now; the ship had already left the harbor.”

books about every summer olympic sport

Stolen Glory: The U.S., the Soviet Union, and the Olympic Basketball Game That Never Ended
by Taps Gallagher, Mike Brewster
“Why has Collins, the sparkplug of the ’72 team and now the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, and his former teammates–all of whom are still alive–continue to insist the gold medals were wrongly awarded to the Soviet Union?”

books about every summer olympic sport

Three Seconds in Munich: The Controversial 1972 Olympic Basketball Final
by David A. F. Sweet // Amazon // Audiobook
“That’s as long as it took to sear the souls of a dozen young American men, thanks to the craziest, most controversial finish in the history of the Olympics—the 1972 gold-medal basketball contest between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world’s two superpowers at the time.”

books about every summer olympic sport

Books About Every Summer Olympic Sport

Beach Volleyball

Misty: Digging Deep in Volleyball and Life
by Misty May-Treanor // Amazon
“The passionate, poignant, and triumphant story of two-time Olympic gold medal–winning beach volleyball icon Misty May-Treanor. Destined for beach volleyball superstardom, having been raised on famed Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California, Misty talks about the personal and professional challenges she has faced and the life lessons she has learned in the process.”

books about every summer olympic sport


Inside the 2016 Men’s Boxing Olympic Trials: A Rare In-Depth Look at USA Boxing’s Best Amateurs
by Matt Reily
“This is a book based on photography taken at the Silver Legacy Casino in Reno, NV of the USA Men’s Boxing Olympic Team Trials for 2016 RIO Olympic Games. Names like; Teofimo Lopez, Shakur Stevenson, Gary Russell & many more now professional rising stars as well as USA Boxing’s current top amateurs that will back at it in for 2020.”

books about every summer olympic sport

Punching Above their Weight: The Irish Olympic Boxing Story
by Sean McGoldrick // Amazon
“A countback of over seventy years of Ireland’s ‘sweet science’. One of the world’s leading nations in the sport. this is the inside story of a great tradition – a story of physical prowess, gritty determination, devastating defeats, sheer bad luck, infamous ‘he was robbed’ judging decisions, and the ultimate goal of Olympic glory.”


Breaking the Surface: How Greg Louganis Overcame Prejudice to Take Home Olympic Gold
by Greg Louganis, Eric Marcus
“Greg Louganis’ journey to overcome homophobia, colorism, and disability to become one of the best Olympic athletes in the world. Greg Louganis began diving at age nine. At sixteen, he beat out more experienced competitors to win a silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. By all accounts, the world was his for the taking. But there was more happening beneath the surface…”


Riding for the Team: Inspirational Stories of the USA’s Medal-Winning Equestrians and Their Horses
by United States Equestrian Team Foundation // Amazon
“From playing with plastic ponies to finding success in the arena, thousands of horse lovers hope they can one day represent the United States in international competition. Riding for the Team chronicles the lives of those who dreamed about competing for their country and “made it,” sharing inspirational stories from the international governing organization’s eight equestrian disciplines.”

books about every summer olympic sport

Second Chance: The Autobiography
by Mark Todd // Amazon
“Mark Todd’s eventing career is the stuff of legends and encompasses one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time. When he ‘retired’ from competing in eventing in 2000, he had already been named ‘Rider of the Century’ for his natural empathy with a horse and his extraordinary success. He returned to train racehorses in his native New Zealand but, eight years later, the idea of a comeback took root, part dare, part personal challenge to see if he could still cut it in a changed sport.”


Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream
by Ibtihaj Muhammad // Amazon // Audiobook
“Growing up in New Jersey as the only African American Muslim at school, Ibtihaj Muhammad always had to find her own way. When she discovered fencing, a sport traditionally reserved for the wealthy, she had to defy expectations and make a place for herself in a sport she grew to love.”

books about every summer olympic sport

Football (Soccer)

One Life
by Megan Rapinoe, Emma Brockes // Amazon // Audiobook
“Only four years old when she kicked her first soccer ball, Megan Rapinoe developed a love – and clear talent – for the game at a young age. But it was her parents who taught her that winning was much less important than how she lived her life. From childhood on, Rapinoe always did what she could to stand up for what was right—even if it meant going up against people who disagreed.”

books about every summer olympic sport

When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World
by Carli Lloyd, Wayne Coffey // Amazon // Audiobook
“In 2015, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won its first FIFA championship in sixteen years where it featured a gutsy, brilliant performance by team captain and midfielder Carli Lloyd. But there was a time when Carli almost quit the sport. In 2003 she was struggling, her soccer career at a crossroads. Then she found a trusted trainer who saw in Carli a player with raw talent, skill, and a great dedication to the game.”

books about every summer olympic sport

Forward: A Memoir
by Abby Wambach // Amazon // Audiobook
“Abby Wambach has always pushed the limits of what is possible. At age seven she was put on the boys’ soccer team. At age thirty-five she would become the highest goal scorer—male or female—in the history of soccer, capturing the nation’s heart with her team’s 2015 World Cup Championship. As she reveals in this searching memoir, Abby’s professional success often masked her inner struggle to reconcile the various parts of herself: ferocious competitor, daughter, leader, wife.”

books about every summer olympic sport

Books About Every Summer Olympic Sport


One of the most popular sports in the summer Olympics, Gymnastics gets an entire blog post to itself.
Non-Fiction Books About Gymnastics


The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
by Daniel James Brown // Amazon // Audiobook
“It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler.”

The Amateurs: The Story of Four Young Men and Their Quest for an Olympic Gold Medal
by David Halberstam // Amazon
“In 1984, rowing was a sport continually relegated to the margins, far from the spotlights attracted by other Olympic events. That year, four men went head-to-head for the right to compete for gold as the United States’ single sculler, an honor that would lead not to lucrative endorsement deals, but to the fleeting glory of the Olympic Games, and the satisfaction of ranking supreme among their competitive community of oarsmen.”
books about every summer olympic sport

Red Rose Crew
by Daniel J. Boyne // Amazon // Audiobook
“In 1975, a group of amazing women rowed their way to international success and glory, battling sexual prejudice, bureaucracy, and male domination in one of the most grueling and competitive sports around. From their first dramatic bid at the 1975 World Championships to their preparations for their first Olympic Games in 1976, this gripping story of bravery, determination, and indomitable spirit captures a compelling moment in the history of sports and of America.”
books about every summer olympic sport

Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX
by Ginny Gilder // Amazon // Audiobook
“From her first strokes as a novice, Gilder found herself in a new world, training with Olympic rowers and participating in the famous Title IX naked protest, which helped define the movement for equality in college sports. Short, asthmatic, and stubborn, Gilder made the team against all odds and for the next ten years devoted herself to answering a seemingly simple question: how badly do you want to go fast?”
books about every summer olympic sport

The 4 Year Olympian: From First Stroke to Olympic Medallist
by Jeremiah Brown // Amazon
“After nearly being incarcerated at age seventeen and becoming a father at nineteen, Jeremiah Brown manages to grow up into a responsible young adult. But then a new goal captures his imagination: What would it take to become an Olympian? Guided by a polarizing coach, Brown and his teammates plumb the depths of physical and mental exertion in pursuit of a singular goal. ”
books about every summer olympic sport


Sevens Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji’s Olympic Dream
by Ben Ryan // Amazon // Audiobook
“It is late summer 2013. Ben Ryan, a red-haired, 40-something, spectacle-wearing Englishman, is given 20 minutes to decide whether he wants to coach Fiji’s rugby sevens team, with the aim of taking them to the nation’s first-ever Olympic medal. Ryan says yes and with that simple word he sets in motion an extraordinary journey that will encompass witchdoctors and rugby-obsessed prime ministers, sun-smeared dawns and devastating cyclones, intense friendships and bitter rows, phone taps and wild nationwide parties.”
books about every summer olympic sport


Between a Rock and a Hard Race: The Finn Class at the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition
by Robert Deaves // Amazon
“In August 2016, 23 of the world’s best Finn sailors met in Rio de Janeiro to fight for Olympic gold. This is the story of how they all got to Rio, survived the qualification battles, the gruelling training and regatta circuit, and still had enough left to challenge for Olympic medals.”
books about every summer olympic sport

Golden Lily: Asia’s First Dinghy Sailing Gold Medallist
by Lijia Xu // Amazon
“The fascinating autobiography from Asia’s first ever dinghy sailing gold medallist. Learning to sail and becoming a full-time athlete at just 10 years old, Lijia Xu was taken away from her parents and enrolled on the gruelling Chinese training regime, a program meticulously prescribed across all sporting disciplines to catapult the nation’s talented youngsters to international champions.”
books about every summer olympic sport


One of the most popular sports in the summer Olympics, Swimming gets an entire blog post to itself.

Books About Olympic Swimming

~One of the most fun parts of the Olympics are watching sports we usually forget about, except for every four years. However with little attention means little coverage, so while this is books about every summer Olympic sport, there are quite a few sports that don’t have books about Olympians/the Olympic experience yet. But if you know of one that I just missed please let me know so I can add it! You can leave a comment below or send a message to with all the info😀

Books About Every Summer Olympic Sport




3×3 Basketball (2020ne premiere)

Canoe Slalom and Sprint


Field Hockey




Karate (2020ne premiere)


Rhythmic Gymnastics


Skateboarding (2020ne premiere)

Sport Climbing (2020ne premiere)

Surfing (2020ne premiere)

Table Tennis





Water Polo

Weight Lifting


Books About Every Summer Olympic Sport

Happy Reading!!

Books About Every Summer Olympic Sport

Books About Every Summer Olympic Sport

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments