Friday, April 22

Not QUITE Forgotten Even Now

A while back, I published THIS post about the greatest forgotten moment in sports history - the Olympic victory of the 1936 University of Washington crew over Nazi Germany and Italy. As it turns out, as in many stories, one could say "but wait, there's more!"

Now, there's an excellent book about the 1936 Husky Crew entitled "The Boys in the Boat." One thing I never knew before was that the coxswain, Bobby Moch was born and raised about 30 miles from Ocean Shores. Adopted, he was told he was Jewish right before he was leaving to row in the Nazi Olympics. What a time to get told something like this! Perhaps fittingly, he represented the United States when he stood upon the winner's podium to accept the gold medal on behalf of the crew. I do not know if they ever told Hitler about Bobby's background.

Afterwards, coach Jim Ten Eyck of Syracuse said "It's the greatest eight I ever saw, and I never expect to see another like it." And Eyck saw a LOT of crews.

Perhaps the greatest tribute to the Washington program came when Oxford ordered a shell to be used against Cambridge from George Pocock, the builder of the Husky boats.

And wait, there's still at least one more thing. Their boat, the "Husky Clipper" still hangs in a place of honor at the Rowing Center at the University of Washington. Each year, new recruits gather underneath it. At the end of the speech about the rowing heritage at the UW, the coach pauses, raises his hand, and points up at the Clipper before telling THAT story.

I'm told that "The Boys in the Boat" is going to be made into a movie. I guess it's more or less a "Chariots of Fire" - with oars. Certainly, it'll be one of the best competitive rowing movies ever made...


Khal said...


Justine Valinotti said...

That is an amazing story!

Can you imagine how Hitler would have reacted had he knew Bobby Moch was Jewish? Between Moch and Jesse Owens, the exponent of white (Aryan) "superiority" would have turned shades of red never before seen!

cafiend said...

Should have worn a yarmulke on the podium. ;-)

Steve A said...

It turns out there is EVEN ONE MORE odd coincidence; showing what a small world it is we live in. Bobby Moch was raised in Montesano, which is the Gray's Harbor County Seat. To get to Berlin the UW team defeated the University of Pennsylvania's team coached by Rusty Callow - of Montesano. Local boys make good!

Post a Comment

No Need for Non-Robot proof here!