Sporting Life: As trials end, Olympics start to feel real

At the 1900 Olympics in Paris, a young boy, his name unknown, his age uncertain, his nationality only presumed as French, joined a Dutch rowing team as the coxswain. The team won gold and in The Complete Book Of The Olympics there is a faded picture of the two Dutchmen standing with the boy. Then he disappeared. Just faded into the crowd. Forever a mysterious figure.

This story is usually retold every four years and it’s when you know the Olympics are upon us. We start caring about coxswains. We dust off history and dive into nostalgia. As if old stories must be recounted to new generations.

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