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The Olympics, via Powers


John Powers

John Powers

Photograph courtesy of John Powers

If John Powers ’70 of the Boston Globe is not the dean of Olympics sportswriters, he is at least decanal. Powers, who honed his craft on the sports beat at the Harvard Crimson, has reported on the Games, summer and winter, since Montreal in 1976. He has been with the Globe since 1973 and has written for many sections of the paper, winning a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1983 for an article on the nuclear arms race. He is also the author of eight books. But the sports desk has been his mainstay, and Powers, who has covered stories on five continents, is conversant with an exceptionally  wide range of sports.

His 2012 Olympic dispatches are astute, well researched, and seasoned by decades of experience in divining the athletic secrets of games ranging from pro football to lightweight rowing. (Powers was, briefly, a lightweight oarsman at Harvard.) Sample his London reportage on women’s gymnastics, silver medalist in swimming Elizabeth Beisel, and gold-medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte, as well as his overview of the U.S. team’s entries in each sport, with helpful, witty “what to look for” notes that assess medal chances, team strengths, and the international competition they face.