Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The boys in the boat

The boys in the boat: nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics / Daniel James Brown, 404 pgs.

The depression was raging, the dust bowl blowing and a team of rowers at the University of Washington made up of hard scrabble, working class kids dared to dream.  Their coach saw something in them that none of them detected and he worked them HARD and LONG and made them winners.  Joe Rantz was third seat in the boat and this book tells much of his story.  His mother died when he was young and his step mother could not stand the sight of him.  He was basically kicked out of the house at age 10 and had to earn his way and figure things out with very little help.  Joe made his way by working hard and making a life on his own.  This resilience helped him when he joined the team and he worked harder than ever to excel.  My brother recommended this book and it is really a great story.  More than just a triumph of sport, it shows how a group can come together and accomplish something bigger than any one of them.

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