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  • Louie Zamperini was a mischievous little boy
  • Louie's older brother Pete forced him to join the track team
  • Louie competed in the 1936 Olympics in Germany
  • Louie Zamperini grew up in Torrance, California. He was born in 1917 to Italian immigrant parents. There wasprejudice against Italian immigrants, and he began smoking, drinking and stealing at a young age.
  • Louie becomes a bombardier in the Army Air Corps
  • Louie's older brother, Pete, saw how fast his brother was and that he could run away from the police when he was bad. Pete began training his brother and would never let him give up. Louie became a track star and was known as the "Torrance Tornado."
  • After the war is over, Louie suffers from PTSD. He goes to church and has a spiritual conversion.
  • Louie competed in the 1936 Olympics in Germany and he won. He was planning to go to the 1940 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan but World War II broke out with the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
  • Louie spends the rest of his life, married to his wife Cynthia, in Christian service
  • Louie was drafted into service and was trained as a bombardier flying B-24 Liberator planes. He was stationed in Oahu, Hawaii and crash landed in the Pacific because of a mechanical failure. He was then taken as a prisoner of war for two years.
  • When Louie returns from his harrowing experience as a POW, he tries to get back to normal. He marries Cynthia Applewhite and moved home to California. He suffers from PTSD . His wife convinces him to come to church with her where he has a spiritual conversion.
  • Louie starts an organization called Victory Boys Camp, that helps at-risk boys. He becomes an inspirational speaker & carries the torch at 5 different Olympic games. He tries to meet his torturer "The Bird" to forgive him, but the Bird never had the courage.
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