|PBS' American Experience documentary, The Boys of '36 airs August 2nd (Screen capture)|
Tomorrow marks the airing of the PBS documentary, The Boys of '36, based on the epic story of Washington's underdogs (okay, underdawgs) who took on the world, and won, at the Olympic Games in Berlin. And, just to get you fully prepared, here are three videos—the first one a look at the first chapter of the documentary; the second, a look at what the current Washington athletes felt about their role reenacting some of the scenes from 1936; and finally, an interview with the filmmakers.
If you've not yet read Daniel James Brown's book, The Boys in the Boat, then this ought to make it damn near impossible not to pick it up. The story of Joe Rantz and his crew is, in many ways, the ultimate American story, capturing both the essence of the time and of the American people, working their way through the Great Depression.
While there's a great deal of continuity in our sport—indeed, one of the more fascinating qualities of rowing is that its history remains so very relevant, our contemporary experiences so comparable, to those that came before—there are also some variations. Hearing today's athletes discuss some of those subtle differences gives further insight into the 1936 crew's journey to Olympic gold.
The interviews with the filmmakers show just how powerful this story can be for people who've never been exposed to rowing before—its spirit of teamwork, camaraderie, and perseverance transcends the world of sports.
There have been plenty of reminders on social media over the last few weeks, but do make sure to tune in on Tuesday, August 2nd, to enjoy (or enjoy again) one of the most compelling narratives in the history of rowing, as well as the Olympic Games, with Rio now just days away.