Book Review is courtesy of Bruce Wigo, President and CEO International Swimming Hall of Fame.
In her new book, Julie Checkoway brings to life one of the most remarkable “LOST” stories in athletic, Olympic and swimming history. She incorporates a fascinating history of Hawaii, Japan and the Olympics to help tell the story of a Hall of Fame swimming coach who dreamed of making champions from the children of poverty-stricken, uneducated Japanese and Philippine- American sugar cane cutters on the island of Maui, in the Hawaiian islands. The coach was Soichi Sakamoto, a regular school teacher who had no background in athletics, let alone swimming is the true-life hero. Fueled by the success of Japanese swimmers at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games, Sakamoto started teaching children swimming in the dirty, muddy sugar cane plantation ditches. Some of his swimmers did so well that he came to believe, by 1937, that some of these kids could be Olympic Champions. Thus came the idea for the “Three Year Swim Club.” It was a challenge to the kids he had been training: if they worked hard, didn’t smoke, drink or gamble, obeyed their parents and coach, in three years, some would represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, in 1940. It is an inspirational story – against all odds – filled with tragedies and triumphs and one that changed the world of swimming for ever. Amazon has likened it on their website to Unbroken and Boys on the Boat. I would add Seabiscuit to that list and think it could make a great movie and the story will be a new exhibit at the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
I recommend the audible.com version, as read by Alex Chadwick, but you’ll also want the book for its photos.
Julie Checkoway is halfway through her first book signing tour and you can see her in person at the following cities on these dates.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
EVENT – Watermark Books & Cafe 4701 E Douglas Ave, Wichita, KS 67218 Arrival Time: 6:45 PM CT Event Start Time: 7:00 PM CT Day of Contact: S arah Bagby, s [email protected]; (316) 6821181 Notes: This will be a talk on THE THREEYEAR SWIM CLUB with Q&A to follow.
Monday, November 9, 2015
51 Tamal Vista Blvd. Corte Madera, CA 94925
Arrival Time: 12:45 PM PST
Event Start Time: 1:00 PM PST
Day of Contact: K aren West, k [email protected]; 415.927.0960 x238
EVENT Copperfield’s Montgomery Village 775 Village Ct, Santa Rosa, CA 95405 Arrival Time: 6:45 PM PST Event Start Time: 7:00 PM PST Day of Contact: C hris Lindauer; (707) 5788938 Notes: This will be a talk on THE THREEYEAR SWIM CLUB followed by a Q&A and signing.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
EVENT – Book Shop W. Portal 80 W Portal Ave, San Francisco, CA 94127 Arrival Time: 6:45 PM PST Event Start Time: 7:00 PM PST Day of Contact: S usan Tunis; s [email protected]; (415) 5648080 Notes: This will be a talk on THE THREEYEAR SWIM CLUB followed by a Q&A and signing.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Powell’s Books, Inc.
Cedar Hills Crossing
2720 NW 29th Ave. Portland, OR 97210
Arrival Time: 6:45 PM
Event Start Time: 7:00 PM
Day of Contact: J eremy Garber, [email protected]; 503.228.4651 ext. 5855 Notes: This will be a talk on THE THREEYEAR SWIM CLUB followed by a Q&A and book signing.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
EVENT – University Bookstore U District Store 4326 University Way NE Seattle, WA 98105 Arrival Time: 5:45 PM Event Start Time: 6:00 PM Day of Contact: E ileen Harte, e [email protected]; 2066336443 Notes: This will be a talk on THE THREEYEAR SWIM CLUB followed by a Q&A and book signing.
The International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc. (ISHOF), established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Recognized by FINA, the International Olympic Committee’s recognized governing body for the aquatic sports in 1968, its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all children and adults. For more information please visit http://www.ishof.org