The Fastest Loser by Gideon A. Mailer
The Olympic Village has never been explored in literary fiction, until now... Herman arrives in a village where Iranians share the bus with Israelis; where Chinese gymnasts eat alongside their rivals from Taiwan; where German and British athletes jog through the streets together; and where Kenyans and Ethiopians waggle their medals in unison. He is on a search for the right sporting heroes to conceive and raise a child. Unable to consummate his own relationships, and having witnessed death in the Munich Olympic Village four decades earlier, he wishes to make new life from love between different peoples, nations, and ethnicities. Herman encounters Lily Wei Lee, a gymnast from Chinese Taipei. Believing she could be an ideal mother, he searches for an appropriate athletic mate to be her partner. He encourages her flirtation with Moses, a long distance runner from East Africa's Great Rift Valley. Yet Lily develops a closer relationship with Roger Benjamin, a British sprinter. A rivalry between Roger and Moses develops, with humorous but also eventually shocking consequences. This is a novel about sporting destiny and the nature of human association, the tension between physical and spiritual love. There are references, images, and allusions to real and historical athletes, from all the world's Olympic Villages: from Derek Redmond to Fu Mingxia, from Bob Beamon to Sharron Davies, from Roger Federer to Sally Gunnell. All their destinies become associated with Herman's fate as "a go-between in the love and loves of the village's youth."