WMU News

WMU professor wins Literature Olympics in Germany

Aug. 23, 2004

KALAMAZOO--A Western Michigan University professor is the winner of the international Eleven-Minutes-Sports-Novel Contest held in connection with the Blankenese Games in Hamburg, Germany.

Dr. Peter Blickle, who teaches German as an associate professor of foreign languages, was notified recently of the award, which coincides with the 2004 Olympic Games. The competition, sponsored by the city of Hamburg, was organized in order to revive the ancient Olympic tradition of having competitions in arts and literature simultaneous with those in athletics.

In antiquity, the Olympic Games did not consist of athletic competitions alone, but included literature and the arts. Between 1912 and 1948, the modern Olympics continued this tradition. Only since 1952, has the Olympic idea been interpreted exclusively in the athletic realm.

An open-air awards ceremony of the Blankenese Games in Literature will take place on Aug. 21 during the Hamburg Beach Soccer Cup and on the eve of the Blankenese Marathon. In the Roman Gardens in Hamburg, Blickle will receive his prize, as well as 1,500 euros (about $1,800 U.S. dollars) for "Und Nicht Dahinter" (And Not Behind), his "11-minute novel" in which a former soccer player reminisces about his love affair with a teammate. The prize includes publication.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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