96-year-old swimmer recalls 1936 Olympic memories

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A good read here on the Gazette.

When Mary Lou Skok came across Adolf Hitler, she couldn’t see evil. She couldn’t see a man capable of murdering millions of Jews. She only saw a dictator.

“He was just like Charlie Chaplin,” Skok recalled. “But he didn’t twitch his mustache.”

Skok went to the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin as an aspiring swimmer, with $75 in her pocket, with an uncomfortable suit that hardly created optimal performance, with the goal of redemption following retirement after she failed to compete in 1932 in Los Angeles.

She returned with $15, minus a medal, coming within 3.2 seconds of a bronze in the 400-meter freestyle, yet with the memories of the four golds won by the late Jesse Owens and with a new perspective of a Nazi regime advocating the superiority of the Aryan race.

Read more: http://www.gazette.com/articles/year-125213-memories-old.html#ixzz1YWGQn6VZ

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