Speed Trap Saga

One of the reporters who helped with the original “Speed Trap” now has the initials “KK”

Just finished the book and yes it was fantastic. Definately exceeded my expectations in every aspect. I can’t help but feel a sense of irony now after finishing the last few chapters though. I mean, its as if the book was published last month - not 14 or so years ago. The issues discussed are more prevalent than ever and more saddening than ever (ie the reasons for banning substances, the virtual picking of which athletes to ban, the lies, the PR shows etc etc).

Now I feel so uninformed in what really goes on in the world of track and field, and also confused - I don’t know who is telling the truth. Even though Charlie’s thoughts in the book have been pretty much the same as what I’ve heard from top level people down here in Australia.

However, I’d like to turn a blind eye - for now at least (and I realise this forum condemns topics involving illegal perfomance enhancing drugs so I’ll leave it there - even though my head is full of ideas and opinions, especially now).

Like I said, the book is great in all regards and I loved the chapters that described the race in such detail - from the start, the competitors, even where you sat in the stadium. It was all really comprehensive and I thank you for a very well written book.

One of the reporters who helped with the original “Speed Trap” now has the initials “KK”

shit, im majorly oWnEd:p

Agreed, but then it was written during 1990 post-Dubin Inquiry and old wounds can take time to heal. I’ve urged Charlie on a few occasions to add some updated chapters and re-issue. I suspect if he ever does, it will be as a self-published e-book. His experience more recently coaching Tim & Marion deserves clarification because I believe he has been unfairly criticised in some quarters (by some - not all - of those pesky journos)

well yes that was my point, with a hint of childlike-got-in-the-toystore-and-didnt-get-the-pressent bitterness:)

its prety safe to assume that such an “update” would be most welcome.

if i may ask though, where there any reprecautions from publising speed trap? I mean its prety sharp and straightforward, moreover it contradicts alot of things publicly said at that period.

Yes you are absolutely correct and it needed to tell the other side. Here in the UK, the media at that time were so high and mighty and full of preaching (not much has changed). The book clarified many facts. Following on from that, Its a shame that CF is still seen as some pariah, by certain organisations, especially when E German coaches and others from the former Eastern block have been allowed to continue their coaching careers without impunity taking jobs as directors of sporting organisations and so on, an unforgiveable inequality.

(This really sounds as though I’m blowing smoke up someones’ ass … but it’s not meant like that - anyway).

I will pick up my hard copy of ST every few months and read through it again from front to back.

I like the way it’s written - very easy to read, humourous anecdotes inserted every so often to illustrate a point without losing track of the overall plot.

It is a mine of information.
I can’t stress this enough - the comments on athletic massage and muscle tone alone are reason enough to buy the book. That’s not even to discuss the aspects directly relating to training the fastest man in world.

Anyone interested in athletics should read it at least once.

It does lay bare alot of issues and topics, but the clarity it brings to understanding the whole event and period is refreshing.

I love the detail the book goes into - in some regards I think it is more effective text to learn certain thing from as opposed to the CFTS - because you see real issues arise, get the personal viewpoint, see the response and get a critique of the effectiveness of the action undertaken - for example managing Ben and the H/s tear pre the games.
Very few sports books published today are as detailed of a topic and almost none treat the reader with enough respect to go to the degree of detail that ST does.

One other thing that really impresses me about the book is the humility and acceptance of Carl Lewis’ immense talent. This acknowledgement in spite of his strong and overwhelming personality is honourable. To personally acknowledge him as the best all-round athlete ever (might be misphrasing a little) is quite a statement considering the books topic.

It is a testamant to the time, the occasion and the event that shook, not only the Olympics, but even the world for a brief moment.

Your comment about labelling all ‘journalists’ together is a very valid one Kitkat and one I could have made easily too.
It is worth being reminded that many journalists are not simply $$ orientated.

I also would love to hear a more detailed view of the Dubin inquiry and the personal aspect of it on Charlies life and thoughts - and of course more recently the whole Tim and Marion story, but the sad reality is that the majority of journalists are only interested in selling papers and making sensationalist headlines.

I guess in some ways saying nothing can be the strongest statement of all.

I don’t want to say any more on the subject of doping, which is an issue CF frowns upon, but it is pertinent to mention it in the context of Speed Trap.
At the time when ST was published, the extent of the State-ordered excesses in East Germany had only been assumed (by a few realists), not yet verified by the documents subsequently retrieved during the unified German parliamentary investigation (Franke, Berendonk et al). No reason to think it wasn’t the same everywhere else in the communist bloc.
Placed in this “new” light (of the facts rather than conspiracy theories) ST glows like a beacon exposing the hypocrisy.

Anyone read:


Written form the athletes perspective, very insightful.

just got mine!!! Im amazed at the wealth of knowledge i gained in sprinting, coaching, conditioning. I too got some emotion during the chapter “race”.

Come on charlie! UPDATE

thanx for writing a great book!

I haven’t ‘read’ the book as much as briefly looked over it some time ago. If it is the book I am thinking of it has some remarkable information in it - and was subsequently banned in Australia.

From memory, one chapter shows a chart of 1500m performances in comparison to the world record, over a 12 month period preceding the invention of a new drug test. Following the introduction of the new drug test, the world best performances over the next 12 months are considerably slower: from near world record pace, to barely qualifying for major international competitions.

i also started reading. It is so great. I really wanna read other books of Charlie, but i cant pay via online banking, cause cf.com only accepts paypal with credit card…

Can anybody sell DVDs or books from the store sell to me OR

MUCH BETTER: Charlie, cant you do something, so that i can pay with online banking???

contact info@charliefrancis.com and see what can be arranged.

I read my ecopy while on vacation. Funny thing, every one thought I was writing a book because I printed out my ecopy and I was studying it like my life depended on it.

I would love to see this as a mini series on ESPN or something. Lord knows it would be better than most of the crap on TV.

LOL I would love to see who they would get for Ben as a teenager with a fro. Or Better yet, who would play Charlie in the late 70s with a big mustache and some big shades


I was going to get Mike Myers to play me. He bears an uncanny resemblence to me in his Austin Powers films!

Yep, or maybe the guy who plays the owner of Average Joe’s Gym in DodgeBall … or Gary Sinese (spell??) who acts in one of those CSI shows and as the grounded astronaut in Apollo 13?

For Ben? Maybe Jamie Foxx . . . but can BJ sing!

yeah but can you get halle berry to play the role of angela… of course the line up to play chucks double during the massage scenes would be huge…

LL Cool J could play Ben…
picture jamie foxx as more the dennis mitchell type.

that pesky reporter could be played by dennis franz from NYPD blue :smiley: :slight_smile: :eek:

LL COOL is a light skin brother.

Wisely Snipes should play Ben Johnson.

now were talking although wesley could double for the linford part aswell

what about Carl…

Elton John… or Wayne Brady

KK you are so on the money with Gary Sinese. That would be a good match.He is CF’s mini me I think Vince Vaughn would be OK too but he’d have to gain some mass (sorry CF :slight_smile:

For BJ, my wife says wesley snipes. But I say Omar Epps. But given Big Ben’s ego I could see him saying Denzel Washington or Tyson Beckford.

OK Since I brought this up I want to be an extra.

Rue Paul. The tall black drag queen. My brother actually showed Carl around NC State when he was running for Tom Jones. He told me that even as a HS Senior he was a flamer…

Truth be told I am a huge fan of Carl. For what he did on the track.