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Gino Bartali: Biking Across Italy And Into The World’s Heart

994 words - 4 pages

Would you risk your life for the well beings of others? The winner of the 1936 and ‘37 Giro d’Italia and the 1938 Tour de France became much more than a world famous biker once World War II started. He fought for others and his country. Influenced by his early life experiences, celebrity biker Gino Bartali aided Jewish people to escape Italy during WWII, ultimately saving hundreds of lives and gaining him world wide renown.
Gino Bartali found motivation through the hardships his family and friends endured. Gino’s younger brother was killed in a biking accident, and although Gino was also hurt, it pushed him to continue riding (Road to Valor, a True Story). When Bartali was young, ...view middle of the document...

Bartali received forged papers from an underground printing press (Marta Zanobini). He would hide the papers in his bike tubes during his “training” rides (FOX News Network), “...he was stopped at the frequent checkpoints, but due to his wit and celebrity, he managed to overcome every obstacle”(Marta Zanobini). proving the difficulty of the 40 bike rides he took in between Florence and Assisi. Bartali would always specifically ask that, “his bicycle not be touched since the different parts were very carefully calibrated…”(FOX News Network). These papers helped Bartali save eight-hundred Jews from persecution and even death in Italy (Marta Zanobini). Gino Bartali became the kind of person who would take a silent stand against the government to prove what any reasonable human could do in a time of moral crisis.
Although difficult, Bartali’s actions made a lasting impression on Jews and the world. Bartali took huge risks that could have cost him his freedom, his family, and his life. But, through all his effort and hard work, he managed to give a second chance at life to 800 Jewish refugees. Conveying his purpose of helping Jews flee Italy throughout the war, Bartali directly stated, “I want to be remembered for my sports achievements, but not as a war hero. Heroes are others, those who had suffered in their limbs, souls and their loved ones. I limited myself to what I was able to do best; ride a bicycle”(Marta Zanobini). Gino risked his life. He had everything to lose; a wife, his son, a house, his career, his life. Gino Bartali dedicated himself to helping others. He was even recognized after his death for hiding his childhood Jewish friend, Giacomo Goldenberg and his family in his apartment and in a nearby basement (Rescuer Story: Gino Bartali). Although it took many years, Gino was eventually affirmed “‘Righteous Among the nations’ by Yad Yashem...

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