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Gino Bartali, Italian cycling legend, saved Jews during WWII [VIDEO]

by JewishJournal

June 18, 2012 | 11:07 am

World renowned cyclist Gino Bartali, the subject of new book “Road To Valor,” saved Jews during World War II, according to HuffingtonPost.com.

Gino Bartali is best known as a cycling legend who holds the record for the longest time span between victories at the Tour de France – ten years – a feat made all the more impressive by the Tour’s status as one of most grueling endurance competitions in the world and the fact that Bartali was an old man (by cycling standards) when he made his comeback in 1948. Looking beyond the marvel of his athletic stamina, Bartali’s life provides a powerful lesson in how moral endurance can empower from within.

Born in a poor town near Florence in 1914, Bartali grew up in a world of grinding poverty. Day laborers like his father earned the modern equivalent of about a dollar an hour, and the average male life expectancy was forty years, due to diseases like malaria and pneumonia. With few career options, Bartali dedicated himself to cycling: from sunrise to sunset, he rode around the Tuscan hills and built up his physical endurance – his capacity to confront painful fatigue and pedal through it. Bartali’s relentless training paid off, and he made a meteoric rise in the cycling world, turning professional only a few years after his first race.

Then cycling took the one person dearest to him.

Read more on HuffingtonPost.com.

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