18 Winter Olympics-Inspired Reads

When the opening ceremony gets underway for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, it will mark the second time that South Korea has hosted the world’s elite athletes. The country previously hosted the 1988 Olympic Summer Games in Seoul.

This time around, South Korea expects more than 2,800 athletes from more than 85 nations to compete in 15 sports disciplines from slopestyle to speed skating.

To get you in the mood to cheer on Team USA, we’ve pulled together a gold medal-winning book list inspired by the Winter Games. Also, take a look at the recent blog post from our friends at Front Range Community College that highlights the Colorado athletes.


Winter Olympic Athlete-Authors

A Skating Life by Dorothy Hamill


Olympic gold medalist shares the secrets of her private life, from her difficulties with her alcoholic father and her emotionally distant mother to her ex-husband’s fatal plane crash and her own struggles with depression and bankruptcy.
The Long Program: Skating Toward Life’s Victories by Peggy Fleming


The champion skater shares the secrets of her success as an athlete and breast cancer survivor, outlining her program for achieving fulfillment in any life endeavor.
The Great Eight: How to be Happy (Even When You Have Every Reason to Be Miserable) by Scott Hamilton


The gold medal figure skater shares his eight secrets to finding happiness in the face of a life filled with challenges, difficulties, and career-canceling odds. (Also an eBook)
Zero Regrets: Be Greater than Yesterday by Apolo Ohno


Ohno shows how we can all come closer to living with zero regrets. While Ohno’s own journey may be unique, the insights he has gleaned along the way have the power to help us all feel like champions every day.


Great Moments from the Winter Games

Eddie the Eagle from 20th Century Fox



(DVD) Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story about Michael “Eddie” Edwards, an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself – even as an entire nation was counting him out.
Great Moments in Olympic Snowboarding by Brian Howell


(JUV) Part of the Great Moments in Olympic Sports Series. Explores Olympic snowboarding history, discussing key figures and record breakers, including Shaun White, Kelly Clark, and Kaitlyn Farrington.
Speed Kings: The 1932 Winter Olympics and the Fastest Men in the World by Andy Bull Traces the efforts of four American athletes from disparate backgrounds to win the gold medal for bobsledding during the 1932 Olympics.
The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team by Wayne Coffey


A look back at one of the greatest moments of twentieth-century sports history, the victory of the U.S. hockey team over the Soviet Union, assessing the meaning of the triumph and the paths of the players and coaches.
The Games: A Global History of the Olympics by David Goldblatt


The reinvention and modern history of the Olympic Games, from its rebirth in 1896 Athens to the present, with highlights from all the classic moments.
The Olympics’ Strangest Moments: Extraordinary but True Tales from the History of the Olympic Games by Geoff Tibballs The strangest moments from the history of the Olympic games, including the stories of Eric the Eel, the slowest swimmer in history, and George Eyser, who won three gold medals in gymnastics despite having a wooden leg.


Just for Fun

Dream Big, Little Pig! by Kristi Yamaguchi


(Picture Book) Poppy is a little pig that dreams of being a star, and even though her first attempts all fail, the support and love of her family and friends encourage her to keep trying.
G is for Gold Medal: An Olympic Alphabet by Brad Herzog (JUV) The letters of the alphabet introduce facts about the Olympic movement and Olympic sports.
Geronimo Stilton saves the Olympics by Geronimo Stilton (JUV graphic novel) When the first Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, are about to take place, the Pirate Cats travel back in time to enter the competition and gain an edge by bringing modern-age sports gear to improve their odds.
Olympig! by Victoria Jamieson


(Picture Book) Boomer becomes the first pig ever to compete in the Animal Olympics and demonstrates that attitude can be more important than winning.


The Winter Sports

Biathlon, Cross-Country, Ski Jumping, and Nordic Combined by Kylie Burns


(JUV) Experience the excitement of Olympic ski jumping, cross country skiing, and biathlon. Learn amazing facts about the history of each sport, the training it takes to be a top athlete, and the high-tech equipment used by competitors.
Bobsleigh, Luge, and Skeleton by Robin Johnson


(JUV) Read all about these Winter Olympic sliding sports, learn about the racers, their equipment, and the records they hold. You’ll also discover that in these fast-paced sports, every second, and hundredth of a second, counts.
Paralympic Sports Events by Robin Johnson


(JUV) Read about the competition events at the Paralympics, including alpine skiing, sledge hockey, and wheelchair curling, and learn how each event differs from its Olympic counterpart.
The Fall Line: How American Ski Racers Conquered a Sport on the Edge by Nathaniel Vinton This portrait of the world of alpine ski racing and the achievements of today’s American ski athletes documents the story of the 2014 Olympics team.


Enjoy the Olympic Games! Go Team USA!