By: Nikita Jacob
Another interesting fact is that Zamperini met Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympics. Hitler congratulated him on a good game by saying, "Ah, your the boy with the fast finish." At the time, Hitler's influence wasn't greatly known. Because of this, Zamperini 's exchange with Hitler was almost humorous.
Lastly, the reason Zamperini first ran on a track was because he was trying to impress school girls. The girls at his school charmed him into running a meet. I thought this was amazing because it goes to show how little moments can shape someones life so much.
Louis Zamperini was the topic of my biography because he is absolutly amazing. Along with becoming famous for 'running like mad', he survived 47 days stranded in the ocean and then survived the horrors of being a POW in a Japanese prison camp for over 2 years. After all of the atrocities he faced, he later goes on the forgive his captives. Through all of this though, Zamperini kept surviving. His will to live didn't die, like so many others' did. In a torture camp, Zamperini found a way to keep being him. The notorious officers continued to beat and break his body, but could never truely break his spirit.
One of the most amazing accounts was when Zamperini got food in the POW camp to save a friend. "One night, when he found Rank Tinker deathly ill, Louie waited for the gaurds to pass, snuck to the Scots' barracks, and told them that Tinker was in trouble. The Scots sent Louie back to Tinker with a load of sugar, no charge. Tinker would later say that Louie's sugar run 'saved my soul'" (Hillenbrand online). Zamperini risked being caught and beating for someone else, which was truly astonishing in a gloomy prision camp.
Other things Zamperini did for fun was shoot things with his brother Pete and play pranks on people. His prankster lifestyle started at a young age and continued for the rest of his life.
The ace of spades symbolizes Zamperini because throughout his life, he strived to be the 'best in the bunch'. During the Olympics and later throughout his life, Pete's word were a source of inspiration for him.
Friend or Foe
Zamperini was also very chatty. He made conversation easily by sharing his stories with people. Zamperini and I share similarities like having an older brother and a younger sister. This would have given us something to talk about.
Zamperini, as shown before, was very adverturous. This is a quality that would have made him a good friend to me because like him, I get bored easily and like to go on crazy adventures. In fact, like him, I once tried to run away.
Even if none of that bounded us, Zamperini's love for running might have. Like him, I ran long distance at track meets and run cross country and 5Ks whenever I can. In fact, if I was friends with Louis Zamperini, maybe I would still be running track at school.
Also like Zamperini , Owens recieved a nickname of "Buckeye Bullet". However, also like Zamperini, he was humble about his speed.
The greatest similariy, I think, is the similarity in character between these two stars. Owen was a young African American in the 20th century. He grew up picking cotton to put food on the table. Later, during the 1936 Olympics, he recieved 4 medals. However, he was not congratulated by Hitler, like all of the white athletes. Owen endured the struggle of oppression all of his life. However, he never let it stop him from doing anything he wanted to. He brushed off insults and, like Zamperini , always retained the capacity to forgive.
Futhermore, Zamperini was willing to do anything to help his friends. In his Japanese prision camps, he did what he could to keep spirits up. Like Rand Tinker said, Zamperini saved souls. On one occasion, the Bird made all the American prisoners beat each other until they were unconcious. Zamperini , however, took hit after hit, and didn't hit his fellow prisoners back. Instead, he took beating after beating.