Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. Billie Jean King takes on Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes. Title IX is passed. Some moments in sports—whether they take place on a track, on a tennis court, or in a courtroom—transcend the event itself. Some have helped America live out its creed that all men are created equal. Others have pushed the nation toward gender equality. Others have changed individual sports to such a degree that they have transformed society.
Powerful Moments in Sports: The Most Significant Sporting Events in American History encompasses more than a single player, team, or game. This book looks at how a particular event revolutionized a sport, how a contest of speed inspired a nation, or even how a humble victory affected the world. Martin Gitlin considers such impactful moments as Jackie Robinson’s integration of Major League Baseball, Gertrude Ederle becoming the first female to swim the English Channel—and shattering the times of five men who had accomplished the feat before her—and the underdog US hockey team defeating the Soviets at the 1980 Olympics. The twenty events featured in this book had profound social, political, and cultural importance and inspired athletes and spectators alike.
Spanning multiple decades, Powerful Moments in Sports reveals the tremendous impact athletes have had on America—and the world—over the years. Covering football, baseball, hockey, basketball, track and field, boxing, and more, this book will fascinate and enlighten sports fans, historians, and those interested in the impact of athletic endeavors on culture and society.