Monday, October 26, 2015

The Three-year Swim Team

The Three-Year Swim Team:  The Untold Story of Mau's Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory
by Julie Checkoway

In 1937, a schoolteacher on the island of Maui challenged a group of poverty-stricken sugar plantation kids to swim upstream against the current of their circumstance. The goal? To become Olympians. 

I loved the story of Soichi Sakamoto, the schoolteacher who couldn't swim himself, and his dedication to the poor kids he taught to swim with everything they had.  Interwoven with the personal story of Soichi and the members of the swim team is the backdrop of what is is happening during this time period with world politics as well as the IOC.    

The book reads like a novel - easy to read and captivating. I always like it when a book enlarges my understanding and learning.  It was interesting to see the reactions of the Hawaiin swimmers to their treatment when they visited the south for swim meets. I think we've made progress in racial relations.

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