United Kingdom
United States
World English
Go to

The story of The Olympics

How to buy this book

Hardback with ribbon marker

Buy this book at Usborne Books at Home Canada


Click on the links to visit the recommended websites.

The ancient Olympic Games

Olympic Games today

Olympic athletes


Internet safety

Children, make sure you follow these three simple rules when using the internet:

  1. Always ask an adult's permission before using the internet.
  2. Never give out personal information, such as your name, address, school or telephone number.
  3. If a website asks you to type in your name or email address, check with an adult first.

For more tips, see Internet safety for children.

Adults - we recommend that children are supervised while on the internet. The content of a website may change at any time and Usborne Publishing is not responsible for content on sites other than its own.

For more on internet safety, see Internet advice for adults.

Using a tablet or smartphone?

Websites with interactive content may not work on your tablet or smartphone, but you can view them on a computer. Find out more…

About this book

Young Reading Series 2
The story of The Olympics

  • A brilliant introduction to the history of The Olympics, from the traditional games of Ancient Greece, to their revival by Pierre de Coubertin and the pomp and ceremony of the modern Games.
  • Internet links to carefully selected websites allow children to access the very best sites to support this book and enhance their learning experience.
  • Specially written for children growing in reading confidence and ability. Part of the Usborne Reading Programme, developed with reading experts at the University of Roehampton.
“...bang up to date”
Time Out Kids Book of the Week
“The best brief account for children...accessible, informative and cheap.”
The Evening Standard

Minna Lacey

Minna Lacey

Minna Lacey has been writing books for Usborne since 2004, about all kinds of topics - from machines and nature to Christopher Columbus and the Olympics. Born in London, Minna worked as a journalist in Bogota, Colombia, and New York before returning to London to write. She loves reading, drawing, photography, ping pong and Salsa dancing, and has two children called Finn and Poppy.

Press Reviews

A beautifully-illustrated trip through time looking at the history of the Olympic Games, right through to the event we know today.
Child Education Plus – Ten of the Best Olympic Resources
The Story of the Olympics by Minna Lacey, offers an entertaining run-down of the history of the Games. It gets out of the starting blocks with the notoriously nude Ancient Greeks - did you know they declared peace for a month either side of the event so people could travel to and from it safely? - and crosses the finishing line bang up to date with BMX cycling in Beijing. The inclusion of issues like the banning of women offers a springboard for discussion, and uplifting personal stories, such as black runner Jesse Owens' triumphant competition in Nazi-ruled Berlin, are potent reminders of the spirit of the Games.

Time Out Kids Book of the Week

This is one title from the Usborne Reading Programme, published to coincide with the Beijing Olympics. It offers a lively and engaging look at the story of the Olympic Games from its foundations in Ancient Greece to the global spectacles seen by today's audiences. From Series 2 of the Usborne Reading Programme, this book is intended to support independent readers who are growing in confidence. A clear font is used and the layout is uncluttered. The book is heavily illustrated with cartoon style illustrations, which add a lightly humorous touch. Topics covered include a chapter on great Olympic heroes and there is an appendix listing all the dates and venues of the summer and winter Olympics. The framework for the Usborne Reading Programme can be downloaded from the Usborne website

Write Away

Gives younger children an ideal opportunity to share in the excitement surrounding the Olympic Games.
Parents in Touch
Perfect for new readers who are growing in confidence, this Usborne Young Reader offers all the facts and is packed with bright, colourful illustrations – a KS1 essential read.
The School Run

Help with links

Problem with a link?

Websites do occasionally experience problems. If a link isn't working we recommend leaving it a while and trying again. If the site is still down the following day please report the problem using our contact form. We will fix the problem as soon as possible, or find an alternative link.

Can't see any links?

If this is the first time you have used Usborne Quicklinks and you can't see ANY links, you may need to adjust your web browser settings. To find out how to do this, see Help & Advice.

Missing link?

The links in Usborne Quicklinks may vary slightly from those described in your book because when a website closes down, or we find a better site, we update the links in Quicklinks. (If we remove any of your favourite sites let us know!)

PDF links

To view and print out files in .pdf format, you need the free Adobe Reader software. Download Adobe Reader.

Sound files

Sound files should play on a computer, tablet or smartphone. If you have difficulty, make sure you have the most up-to-date version of your web browser, or on a desktop computer, download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player (see Technical help).

Midi files

To hear midi files, you need a free program such as Windows Media Player, Real Player or Quicktime. Make sure your speakers are switched on! For more about these programs, see Technical help.

Also by Minna Lacey

Big books

Big picture books


Look inside

Young Reading Series 3 Famous lives

Young Reading Series 3 History

© Copyright 2020 Usborne Publishing. Web design & Development by Semantic