Friday, October 14, 2016

Boy in the Boat

The recent best-selling book, The Boys in the Boat, tells the powerful story of a group of young American men who row their way into history defeating the powerful German crew assembled by Adolph Hitler for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.  At the heart if this larger story is the coming-of-age tale of Joe Rantz, a young man with a  troubled, rough-and-tumble-tumble background who discovers his identity (and wife) when he joins the University of Washington rowing team.
On a team composed of sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, they shock the elite teams from the East Coast and Great Britain and ultimately Hitler's German team to win the Olympic gold medal.  As I paddled beneath the railroad bridge in Poughkeepsie, NY where the boys qualified for those Olympics in a stirring race, this boy had a tear in his eye.

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