The University of Washington eight-oared rowing crew made Olympic history in 1936 by winning their gold medal in that event.
The event is well told in a new book, “Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown, a book recommended to me by Martha at Hastings book department. She was right, it’s a story of the development of the sport at UW, along with the story of one of that crew, Joe Rantz, a teenager without a home.
Brown has woven a good description of the tough days of the mid-30’s in Seattle, as well as the German Nazi regime of the time. The 1936 Olympics were used by the Nazi regime to cover the ugliness of what they we doing to the Jews at the time.
That college crew was truly a superior group, beating national teams like Italy and Germany who had far more financial backing. In fact, the UW crew’s attendance got no financial help from the Olympic committee, and they had to raise money in Seattle to send them to Berlin.