The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event on the planet and has developed beyond all proportion since Baron Pierre du Coubertin first raised the idea of reviving the Ancient Olympic ideal in 1889. The first modern Olympic Games, appropriately held in Athens in 1896, featured only 241 athletes from 14 countries; by the time the event hits London in 2012, 4,200 athletes from up to 208 countries will compete in front of a global television audience of 6.7 billion. In the intervening 116 years, some of the greatest stories in world sport have been written and names have been etched into sporting folklore. The Olympic Games and World Records Book is a collection of the finest achievements on sport's greatest platform and a celebration of the legends created by some of the most distinguished names in sporting history. It is essential reading for any fan of the Olympic Games - the greatest and most revered spectacle in world sport.