Tuesday, June 14, 7-8 p.m.
Shorday Room, Abington Free Library
A discussion about Olympic rowing for teens and adults with speakers
The Boys in the Boat
The #1 New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany and now the inspiration for the forthcoming PBS documentary “Boys of ‘36”
For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.
It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler.
The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest. This book is the 2016 selection for One Book, One Montgomery County (montcolibraries.org).
Joanne started rowing in 1959. When she aspired to row in the Olympics, she quickly learned that there were no rowing events for women. Why? Because the governing body for rowing in the United States viewed it as a man’s sport and they would not sanction U.S. women to compete in international competitions.
When the International Olympic Committee considered the addition of women’s rowing to the Olympic program, the various countries were asked if they would send a women’s rowing team. The response from the U.S. governing body for rowing had always been “No” because the men thought that women not only could not, but should not row.
Joanne set out to change their minds, co-founding the National Women’s Rowing Association and introducing women’s rowing into the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976, where she was a member of the initial United States Women’s Olympic Rowing Committee. She managed the first Olympic women’s rowing team, bringing home silver and bronze medals.
Joanne is the President of the Vesper Boat Club and is inducted into the National Rowing Hall of Fame.
Diane Burke, daughter of Olympic bronze medalist in men’s single sculls, Daniel H. Barrow Jr., will bring memorabilia from her father’s visit to the 1936 Olympic competition in Berlin.
Daniel Barrow began his rowing career at West Catholic High School where the 8 oared crew won the first Stotesbury Cup, the world’s oldest and one of the largest high school rowing competitions.
He then rowed for Penn Athletic Club where his eight man team, dubbed the “Big Eight” by Philadelphia sportscasters, was the first American crew to win the World Championship in Liege, Belgium, in 1930. That Penn Athletic Club crew won 31 consecutive victories between 1929 and 1931, including the US and Canadian championships in 1931.
In 1933, Dan Barrow switched to sculling and won the 1934 and 1935 national titles in the doubles. His singles championships came in 1936, and qualified him for his Olympic appearance in Berlin where he won the bronze medal.
Join us for a joint adult and young adult discussion of the bestselling book The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. This book was chosen as the first ever One Book, One Montgomery County read in 2016.
Sign up early to get a free copy of the book. (10 for young adults and 10 for adults)
Please call 215-885-5180, ext. 13, email AskAbington@gmail.com, go online here or sign up at the Information Desk.
The views and opinions expressed in various library programs are solely those of the presenter and do not necessarily represent the views of the Abington Township Public Library or the Friends of Abington Township Public Library.