He started hanging out with a rough crowd, but although he acted tough, he was crippled by shyness inside. He had big ears and unruly hair. Still, he was restless, and he’d lie awake at night dreaming of traveling far away from home. He also he liked to talk about the first race he lost, and how that helped him understand that he had good character because he was actually joyful for the guy who had beat him. When they pulled him out, he was covered in oil. Louis saw a train with a fine-dining car go by, and something about the refinement of the people inside made him realize he was wasting his life. If he continued to follow this path, there would be no real future for him. And so I know it meant so much to him to see the adults lining the street, but their children, [it meant] even more. Louis Silvie Zamperini was born Jan. 26, 1917, in Olean, N.Y., the second of four children of Louise and Anthony Zamperini. As a teenager, he was an Olympic long … CZG: [The clip] proves that the story is not an exaggeration. Most Popular #16506. He was quickly becoming a legend in the making for his prowess in the mile. 12/18/2014 1:56 PM The movie Unbroken, coming out on Christmas Day, is the almost inconceivable true story of Louis Zamperini. During Louis Zamperini’s childhood, he was an outcast, not only for his mischievous ways, but also for his looks. Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. It makes for a beautiful moment cinematically. And I think it’s because it was a great high point in his later life. A railroad detective found the boys and forced them to jump off at gunpoint while the train was still moving. His story is a remarkable one, highly worthy of being shared with millions on the big screen. It’s the reason why the story is going to touch everyone who sees it because you hope that you can be—at age 81, after what he’d been through, to have that glorious smile on his face and holding a flame that’s representative of so much. We pulled up to the site of the prison camp—there’s now a beautiful park with a lovely statue that symbolizes peace between the nations that had been erected by the townspeople. All of the effort Louis had put into plotting and scheming now went into running. He felt that he knew now that he could be a gracious loser. Though Louis Zamperini’s childhood was troubled, he later believed his resilient nature and determination as a runner and person helped him survive. Louis Zamperini’s childhood was spent mainly in California. Zamperini beat Lash, finishing 8th in the event at the Berlin Olympics]. Louis’s adventure on the road was such a disaster, it would force him to take stock of his life. Kids in disadvantaged schools need your help! One night, he grew so inebriated, he fell into a rosebush in the yard. But I love the drama that Jack put into that. Because the movie is about his early life, and I’m just guessing because I didn’t ask him that question, but it just showed him triumphant. Like this article? I was athletic, but also artistic, and that just appealed to me. He trained for it. Your email address will not be published. When I saw it for the first time I said, “Okay I know what the ending of the film is going to be.” It was in every draft of the script. Jack [O’Connell, who played Louie Zamperini] has a slightly different body type. Louis also spoke little English as a young boy because of the Italian spoken at home, and he stayed quiet through most of kindergarten and first grade. Getty Images Former athlete Louis Zamperini (right) and Army Capt. Hey Gritty, We’ve Got Some Training Tips for You! LZ: Today, you see the guy breaking the tape and the guy behind him stumbling, and go, “The victorious gold medalist and the stumbling loser.” We don’t place any importance on coming in second or third or fifth or whatever. When he enrolled at Torrance High School in California, he barely spoke English and other students teased him. Most corporations are not really helpful to one another, but CBS was actually willing to let us get that footage because they, too, knew that it was so important to Lou, and to Draggan who made the documentary, that the footage had to be in the film because it meant so much. Our children are facing a radical interruption in their academic routines. He was survived by his son, Luke Zamperini, his daughter, Cynthia Zamperini Garris, and a grandchild. Louis had a heart for at-risk-youth and started an organization called Victory Boys Camp an outreach of the Louis Zamperini Foundation which his family still runs today. Nothing anyone did worked. 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