CM Archive
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Glynn Leyshon

Markham (Ont.), Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1989. 64pp, paper, $6.95
ISBN 0-88902-855-9. CIP

Grades 3 to 5/Ages 8 to 10
Reviewed by Jo Anna Burns Patton.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

Swimmers is a biographical look at four famous Canadian swimmers spanning a lime period from 1964 to 1984. The book is arranged into four chapters, one per swimmer, with a brief introductory chapter on the history of championship swimmers in Canada.

The first swimmer discussed is Elaine Tanner and the author begins by looking at her participation in the Canadian Senior Women's Swimming champi­onships in 1964. Her introduction to swimming is highlighted and the chapter ends with her participation in the 1968 Olympics and her final retirement from competitive swimming.

The other chapters go on to discuss Graham Smith, Sylvie Bernier and Alex Baumann. Graham Smith is highlighted from his initial introduction to competitive swimming to the 1980 Olympics (the Moscow Olympics). Sylvie Bernier's biographical sketch ends with her gold medal win in the 1984 Olympics and Alex Baumann's life story looks not only at his double gold medal win in the 1984 Olympics but also at the personal tragedy he has had lo endure along the way with die drowning of his older brother and the death of his father.

Each chapter is liberally sprinkled with colour and black-and-white photographs of die swimmers and their teams, coaches and families.

There is no table of contents or index. Some of the chapters were difficult to follow because the author chose not to follow a strict chronological order in the presentation of facts. There were also some unusual analogies -- for example, comparing the difficulty in winning two gold medals at the Olympics to "skinning a rhinoceros with a set of false teeth."

Even with these drawbacks, the text is still interesting reading and could be a useful addition to a biography collection for die younger reader.

Jo Anna Burns Patton, Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School for Girls, Montreal, Que.
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