Long before George Washington was a president or general, he was a sportsman. Born in 1732, he had a physique and aspirations that were tailor made for his age, one in which displays of physical prowess were essential to recognition in society. At six feet two inches and with a penchant for rambunctious horse riding, what he lacked in formal schooling he made up for in physical strength, skill, and ambition. Virginia colonial society rewarded men who were socially adept, strong, graceful, and fair at play. Washington's memorable performances on the hunting field and on the battlefield helped crystallize his contribution to our modern ideas about athleticism and chivalry, even as they also highlight the intimate ties between sports and war. Washington's actions, taken individually and seen by others as the core of his being, helped a young nation bridge the old to the new and the aristocrat to the republican. --Publisher.