The three-year swim club : the untold story of Maui's Sugar Ditch kids and their quest for Olympic glory

by Checkoway, Julie,

Format: Print Book 2015
Availability: Available at 6 Libraries 6 of 6 copies
Available (6)
Location Collection Call #
Andrew Carnegie Free Library Nonfiction 797.21 CHECKO
Location  Andrew Carnegie Free Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  797.21 CHECKO
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction GV837.9.C454 2015x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  GV837.9.C454 2015x
Coraopolis Memorial Library Non-Fiction 797.21 CHE
Location  Coraopolis Memorial Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  797.21 CHE
Hampton Community Library Non-Fiction 797.2 CHE
Location  Hampton Community Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  797.2 CHE
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 797.210922 C41
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  797.210922 C41
Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 797.21 CHE 2015
Location  Sewickley Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  797.21 CHE 2015
The New York Times bestselling inspirational story of impoverished children who transformed themselves into world-class swimmers.

In 1937, a schoolteacher on the island of Maui challenged a group of poverty-stricken sugar plantation kids to swim upstream against the current of their circumstance. The goal? To become Olympians.

They faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The children were Japanese-American and were malnourished and barefoot. They had no pool; they trained in the filthy irrigation ditches that snaked down from the mountains into the sugarcane fields. Their future was in those same fields, working alongside their parents in virtual slavery, known not by their names but by numbered tags that hung around their necks. Their teacher, Soichi Sakamoto, was an ordinary man whose swimming ability didn't extend much beyond treading water.

In spite of everything, including the virulent anti-Japanese sentiment of the late 1930s, in their first year the children outraced Olympic athletes twice their size; in their second year, they were national and international champs, shattering American and world records and making headlines from L.A. to Nazi Germany. In their third year, they'd be declared the greatest swimmers in the world. But they'd also face their greatest obstacle: the dawning of a world war and the cancellation of the Games. Still, on the battlefield, they'd become the 20th century's most celebrated heroes, and in 1948, they'd have one last chance for Olympic glory.

They were the Three-Year Swim Club. This is their story.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "The sugar ditch kids were nobodies. Living on a Maui sugar plantation in the 1930s meant a life of poverty, with one of the only joys splashing in the waters that fed the fields. But Soichi Sakamoto, a teacher who volunteered to supervise the kids swimming in an irrigation ditch, saw opportunity glistening in the turbid water. His quest to build world-class swimmers from the youngsters whose futures seemed to already be set in stone makes an inspiring true tale of grit and determination. As the ragtag Maui team's ambitions unfold with the credo Olympics first, Olympics always, so does Tokyo's bid for the 1940 games, but world events conspire against them both. Checkoway skillfully weaves vivid scenes into a larger narrative with a varied cast of characters to create a stirring, though exhaustive, account of the swimming club. The team's successes against an undercurrent of discrimination first in Hawaii and then the mainland and internationally turned heads and saw not only the sugar ditch swimmers, but also the sport itself, experience an explosive leap forward. Pair this with The Boys in the Boat (2013).--Thoreson, Bridget Copyright 2015 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "This rags-to-riches story revolves around school teacher Soichi Sakamoto, who took a group of Japanese-American children from a poor, segregated Hawaiian sugar plantation and taught them how to be champion swimmers, practicing in one of the plantation's fetid irrigation ditches. If the basis for the book doesn't sound amazing enough, how the story unfolds-Japan vying for the Olympic games, Pearl Harbor being bombed, WWII changing the world forever-allows the story and characters to evolve in uplifting and heartbreaking ways. Debut author Checkoway is equal to the task of telling this moving narrative. From page one, where she writes "Lip-locking lovers perambulated... and holiday makers gathered... under Maxfield Parrish skies," it is evident that Checkoway's ability to set a scene is uncanny and accomplished. Her top-notch skill as a researcher allows her to bring to life the long-forgotten saga of the swim team, which she fears might otherwise "simply disappear." Depicting determination, discrimination, hope, anguish, hard work, and hard choices, Checkoway has created a sports history that is singular in its own right, and a fitting testament to the over 200 youths who swam for many reasons toward one goal: "Olympics First! Olympics Always."(Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."

Additional Information
Subjects Olympic Games -- (14th : -- 1948 : -- London, England)
Japanese American children -- Hawaii -- Maui.
Swimming -- Hawaii -- Maui -- History.
Swimmers -- Hawaii -- Maui -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Grand Central Publishing,2015
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description viii, 415 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 359-388) and index.
ISBN 9781455523443
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