One-Minute Book Reviews

August 10, 2008

Has Volleyball Arrived as an Olympic Sport? (Quote of the Day / Paul Sunderland via Dave Anderson)

Filed under: News,Nonfiction,Quotes of the Day — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 6:54 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Volleyball became an Olympic sport in 1964 but didn’t come into its own in the U.S. until Karch Kiraly drove the American team to gold medals in 1984 and 1988. Even then, it had a narrower appeal than marquee sports such as swimming and track. Has volleyball finally arrived as an Olympic sport? If not, when will it have emerged from the margins? One answer came from Paul Sunderland, a member of the 1984 U.S. team:

“It won’t have arrived until the people who see us in an airport stop asking us what basketball team we play for.”

As quoted by Dave Anderson in The Story of the Olympics (Morrow Junior Books, 1996), with a foreword by Carol Lewis. Written by a Pulitzer Prize–winning sportswriter for the New York Times, this excellent introduction to the Olympics for ages 9 and up came out in a revised an expanded edition from HarperCollins in 2000, shown at left.

[During the Olympics, One-Minute Book Reviews will post occasional quotes from books that give context to the sports taking center stage in Beijing. These quotes will appear in addition to the usual reviews.]

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.


  1. YES…

    I truly believe volleyball WILL be talked about at the wated fountains for years to come and YES it has arrived as an Olympic sport.

    Go Volleyball! (USA 🙂 )

    In Good Health,


    Comment by vbtrainer — August 10, 2008 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks, Barry. Paul’s quote suggests to me that those early U.S. volleyball teams needed, in addition to great skill, a sense of humor. It looks as though they had both.

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — August 10, 2008 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  3. Great topic. And it reminds me that I’m excited to read the memoir “Chalked Up” by Jennifer Sey, about the world of gymnastics. If you give that one a look I’d love to know what you think!

    Comment by sarahsk — August 11, 2008 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

  4. Hi, Sarah,
    I liked “Chalked Up” a lot and think it could turn up later on some of the “year’s best sports books” lists. Sey is unusual in that she is in early middle age and has put some distance between herself and her gymnastics career. So she has a maturity of perspective on her sport that a lot of athletes don’t bring to their books.

    I reviewed “Chalked Up” on O-MBR on June 2 my timing probably could have been better — right after Memorial Day). At this writing, it’s the No. 2 post on the “Top Posts” list at right.

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — August 11, 2008 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

  5. I’m so embarrassed that I missed that!! Glad to hear you liked it and that her perspective and distance enriched the narrative. Thanks for pointing me toward your review. I’m looking forward to the book even more now. I’m going to check out more of the top posts that I may have missed. *smacks forehead*

    Comment by sarahsk — August 11, 2008 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

  6. Hi, Sarah,
    I post so much, sometimes I forget what I’ve written. At times, I have to go to the search box or Google to find the answer to, “Have I written about this already?” So you and I are in the same boat here …

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — August 12, 2008 @ 10:31 am | Reply

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