Louie Zamperini: War Survivor

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Louie Zamperini, a WWII US prisoner of war survivor, inspired millions of people around the world. Zamperini was not only a U.S soldier, but a track star as well, qualifying for the 1936 Berlin Olympics at age nineteen. He finished in 8th place at the Olympic Games 5000m in 14:46.8 with a final lap of under sixty seconds. Louie was sent to war in 1942, where his plane crashed in the middle of the ocean. Along with two other survivors, they were stranded in the middle of the ocean for 47 days before being captured by the Japanese who made their lives hell. In WWII, Louie Zamperini was faced with many challenges during his journey, making him an inspiration to others through his leadership, selflessness, and determination. Louie Zamperini is …show more content…
When Louie first started running he was not the fastest runner. His brother Pete would encourage Louie to keep training and to never give up. While Zamperini was in high school, he set the National High School mile record for 4 minutes and 20 seconds. He then ran in the 1936 Olympic Trials for the 5000m and qualified. Louie only had a few weeks to train, but he worked so hard everyday. Louie came in 8th place in the Olympics, but finished the last lap in 56 seconds. Also, life after war for Zamperini was not the greatest. Louie became a serious alcoholic and severely suffered from PTSD. Family and friends started to worry about Louie. Louie almost lost his wife because of his drinking. One day, his wife dragged him to listen to a sermon that he did not want to go to and Billy Graham was preaching. As he was sitting there listening to Graham, Louie starting to think about his time on the raft. He started getting angry and got up and left when he was told not too but then ended up back on the raft in a flashback. While Louie was on the raft he promised God, “If you will save me, I will serve you forever”(5.38.40). It started raining as soon as he thought about that, like when it was raining while he said that on the raft. That was the last flashback he would ever have. Louie then went home, grabbed all the alcohol, cigarettes, and girlie magazines, and everything that was part of his ruined years and threw it all away. He was a new man that was finally at peace. Louie shows determination by pushing himself to accomplish something like train and run in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin where Hitler attended and worry free from flashbacks of the war as a new

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