By J Thompson:
As a kid, Louie was a nightmare. Drinking at five, a relentless thief, a social outcast and all too familiar to the police. In today’s world, he would have been put on Ritalin. Back then, his brother put him on the track. There, he found purpose.
Louie set the school-boy record in the mile. It stood for decades.
At 19, though he’d only raced the distance a couple of times, he went to the Berlin Games and ran the 5,000. A final lap (:58) was run with such courage that despite losing, Zamperini was still offered the dubious honor of visiting Adolf Hitler in his box.
After the Games, it was on to USC and another national record in the mile; this too stood for decades.
World War II came and Louie went to war. Read more>>