Gino Bartali: Biking Across Italy and into the World’s Heart

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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, his father was part of a movement against a Fascist dictator. Bartali’s father advised him “to steer clear of politics”(Racing for his Life - and his Country’s). But Gino found politics unavoidable later in his life. The National Fascist party attempted to control his biking career (Racing for His Life -- and His Country’s), “Mussolini and the Fascist regime used sport as propaganda and interfered with Gino’s athletic career”(Road to Valor, a True Story). which made Gino more frustrated and rebellious towards the Fascist party. Once the war began in 1939, Bartali became a brave bike messenger, risking his already poor health and career, and was soon “recruited” for Cardinal Elia Dalla Costa’s secret resistance effort to safely and legally escape from Italy (Road to Valor, a True Story). Although Gino did not know it yet, the lives of hundreds of Jews would rest on his decision to join the secret resistance. Through Bartali’s quick and deliberate thinking, he managed to disguise his efforts to help Jews escape Italy. Using his popularity... ... middle of paper ... ...onin, Claire. "Road to Valor, a True Story." Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale, 2012. Web. . "Italian Cyclist Gino Bartali Saved Jews during WWII by Shuffling Papers Hidden in His Bike." Fox News. FOX News Network, 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 05 May 2014. . “Gino Bartali” Zanobini, Marta. Personal Account. "Rescuer Story: Gino Bartali." Gino Bartali. Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, 2012. Web. 05 May 2014. . Santoro, Gene. "Racing for His Life -- and His Country's." Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale, 2012. Web. .

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