The Academy Awards are this weekend, so what better way to celebrate than with the Keep the Flame Alive Movie Club? Film Buff Fran is here to talk about the newest Olympic major motion picture The Boys in the Boat. Based on the book by Daniel James Brown, it tells the story of the 8-man boat on the US men’s rowing team and their uphill quest for gold at the Berlin 1936 Olympics. The movie is directed George Clooney and stars Callum Turner as rower Joe Rantz and Joel Edgerton as Coach Al Ulbrickson.

The eight-man is the pinnacle of the Olympic rowing regatta, and the US boat was an unlikely candidate for victory, and that’s in part due to the selection process. In the early days of the Olympics, the best college boat went to the Games, rather than a US team being assembled from the best rowers in the country. The University of Washington surprised boats from Stanford, Harvard, and Yale to be the crew headed to Berlin to represent the country.

The movie compresses the action of the book quite a bit, but you get a feel for how these men (many of whom tried out for crew because it offered a job and housing, something some of the Depression-era students like Joe Rantz desperately needed) figured out how to maneuver oars and learn to row together well enough to surprise other universities and even Adolf Hitler.

If you’ve seen it, let us know what you thought of it!

Also in this episode, we dust off our Tokyo 2020 music for a follow-up about the Belorussian coach who sent home athletics sprinter Krystisina Tsimanouskaya. The Athletics Integrity Unit has issued a ban on coach Yury Moisevich for his actions.

We have tons of news about Paris 2024! The opening ceremony on the Seine with free tickets for hundreds of thousands of people has gotten an audience makeover–tickets now are being given out by invitation only and all ticket holders will have to go through security checks.

The Athletes Village is now complete–mostly on time and on budget! We’ve got the details.

The Paris 2024 official posters have been released! Created by illustrator Ugo Gattoni, the two posters can be combined into a single image, making it the first diptych in Games history.

Paris 2024 Paralympic poster designed by Ugo Gattoni. It depicts a detailed version of Paris during the Games. Image: Paris 2024.

Paralympic poster by Ugo Gattoni (Paris 2024).

Paris 2024 Olympic poster designed by Ugo Gattoni. It depicts a detailed version of Paris during the Games. Image: Paris 2024.

Olympic poster by Ugo Gattoni (Paris 2024).

 

Plus, so much hospitality house news–if you’re going, there are going to be a ton of countries to visit while you’re in Paris! Will you apply to volunteer at Team NL House or Team NZ House (go Silver Ferns!)? Will you get VIP tickets to Club France?

Also from the follow-up file, the justice system works quickly in France, and the surfingnovela has another installment.

We always like to visit TKFLASTAN to see how our Team Keep the Flame Alive is doing. We’ve got news from:

Thanks so much for listening, and until next time, keep the flame alive!


TRANSCRIPT

Note: This is an uncorrected machine-generated transcript and may contain errors. Please check its accuracy against the audio. Do not quote from the transcript; use the audio as the record of note.

327- Film Buff Fran on The Boys in the Boat

Jill: Hello, and welcome to another episode of keep the flame alive, the podcast for fans of the Olympics and Paralympics.

If you love the games, we are the show for you. Each week, we share stories from athletes and people behind the scenes to help you have more fun watching the games. I’m your host, Jill Jaris, joined as always by my lovely co host, Alison Brown. Alison, hello. How are you? Okay,

Alison: so I think George, uh, Pocock has taken up residence upstairs in my house and there is a boat being built.

Jill: So you’re saying some construction is going

Alison: on. Some construction is going on. I wish it was a boat, but it is not.

Jill: That’s okay. That’s all right. But whatever, what’s being built will be beautiful and lovely as well. But uh, yes. Uh, Um, we have a lot of Paris 2024, but yes, we are talking about boats and boys in them today.

But, but first I wanted to mention that it’s coming up on mascot madness time for our Patreon patrons. If you are a 5 a month or higher patron, you will have access to our bonus episodes that come out every month. Every March we’ve been doing mascot madness. This is mascot madness number four.

Unbelievable. I know. And we are pitting the Summer Olympic mascots versus the Summer Paralympic mascots. Who will take home the crown? Will it be, Afrige? Will the young upstart win the title? Will it be an old classic like Sam the Eagle? Or will, the Paralympic Friege be a young upstart? Will it be Friege on Friege action?

Or will we have uh, one of the older mascots like Dan D. Lyon? Doing some upsets.

Alison: And we’ve got a lot of little fun mascot facts and opinions and thoughts thrown in there. So it’s, it’s a lot of fun mascot madness. I think that’s my favorite Patreon episode that we do every year.

Jill: Exactly. Mine as well.

So check that out. sign up this month and you’ll be able to download that right away and catch all the other Becca episodes of, uh, what we talk about on our patron show. That’s at patreon. com slash flame alive pod. We’ll have a link to that in the show notes.

So we do have a ton of Paris 2024 news today. Posters are out opening ceremony issues again, , hospitality house news out the wazoo.

Film Buff Fran on The Boys in the Boat

Jill: But first. The Academy Awards are this weekend, so what better way to celebrate than with Movie Club! Film Bruv Fran is here to talk about the newest Olympic major motion pitcher, Boys in the Boat, which was released this past December in 2023.

It is based on the book by Daniel James Brown and tells the story of the 1936 U. S. men’s rowing team. This movie is directed by George Clooney and stars Callum Turner as rower Joe Rance and Joel Edgerton as coach Al Ubu. Ulbrickson, take a listen.

MOVIE CLUB!

Fran, welcome back. We’re talking Boys in the Boat based on the book, Boys in the Boat. about the 1936 U. S. Men’s Rowing Team. What do you have for us?

Film Buff Fran: so this is actually a very current movie. It just opened in theaters here in the United States in December. and it was directed by one of my favorite actors, George Clooney, who is also, has become a wonderful director in his own right.

, and it stars. Joel Edgerton and, Callum Turner, and a whole cast of wonderful men that depict the, fabulous rowing team of eight men that went on to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, to go on to, spoiler alert, win the gold medal for the United States. I think you guys have gone on and on about the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the kind of feeling of the moment where, you know, the Deutschland, the Hitler’s country, that he wanted this to be a true kind of show of dominance of their country. So the stakes for the United States were extremely high. And it’s a very interesting story because you really see a true set of absolute underdogs come into their own before the Olympic Games and then go on to perform on the biggest stage.

so the movie starts with, the town where the University of Washington where their crew team, is starting to pick their new junior team. And, they wrestle up this gang of guys who had no experience really rowing in a boat and just picking people based on who they thought would be a good team.

So, Coach Ulbrickson got together this band of boys to form this team and they were mostly portrayed as kids from the wrong side of the track.

Unfortunately, you know, due to the Great Depression in the United States, you see even the main character of Joe Rantz, played by Callum Turner, you know, living in his car at the beginning of the movie. So it really depicts the utter devastation and economic decline of the United States in the early 1930s and how Joe decides to try out for the team just purely for the sake of having a roof over his head and, you know, an income.

They promised him a way to pay his tuition for school. And it goes on from there. And then you see how these boys through just, just a determination and the absolute dedication, formed into a formidable rowing team that beat their own A team. and then beat University of California in their first meetup.

So , it really provided a very, dynamic, striking opening to this movie. And for someone like myself that never really pays attention to rowing, it was really fascinating to see even in the 30s and probably before the 30s, the absolute, fanaticism that people had in, for rowing.

They had huge crowds at these regattas and, there was very high stakes for having the bragging rights at these universities to be the number one rowing team. Of course, there were the storied Ivy Leagues of Harvard and Yale on the East Coast, but it seemed as if from the movie’s portrayal that Washington and Cal were kind of always vying for the number one spot on the West Coast.

What were your early thoughts on the movie when you first started watching?

Alison: The book deserved better than this movie. Oh, really? I was so, so disappointed in the movie. Oh, because it was our very first book club book and is still probably

my favorite, if not my absolute favorite of our book club books.

So well written, such a great story. And for me, this movie takes out everything that made the story special. and instead hits all the stereotypical Olympic triumph underdog notes.

Film Buff Fran: Oh, what a bummer. I wish, you know what? I almost wish I read, I was able to read the book before the, and always, it usually is the case that the book is Always, always, always superior to the movie.

But it’s so interesting because, you know, without having read the book, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie because, you know what? Yes, it had all the tropes. It had the underdogs. It had the meanies. oh my gosh, one of the guys got sick right before the main race and he had to overcome that.

Like it had all the adversity, but I don’t know. It just had an earnestness about the characters and I really enjoyed the pace of the movie and it was funny because I was watching it with my 11 year old daughter and she absolutely loved it and she was nervous. She was very nervous because she had no idea how it was going to come out and how they were going to do and She was like at the edge of her seat the whole time So, it is sorry to say that it didn’t meet your expectations from the book But you know what I thought was really cool about The movie and I looked into this afterwards is to the listeners.

For Washington to get to the Olympics, they had to go to a race in Poughkeepsie, New York, during the Poughkeepsie Regatta, you see the people in the stands getting to their seats, and it looks like it’s a train with an open side.

And I was like, wow, that’s really kind of neat. And then all of a sudden, when the race began, the train actually started moving. And so the people on the train had the absolute best seat to watch. The match because the train chugged right along with the rowers on the Hudson River. And I thought that was absolutely incredible.

Like that’s like the perfect way to watch this event. That was really a neat part of it, to see that kind of historical kind of documentation. And I actually looked at the Poughkeepsie Regatta online and. It was a huge thing, for over 50 years. And then I guess it moved in the fifties to another location.

And then I think it moved again and then it just never, it never came back to the same spot. So I was like, wow, that is a really. Lost wonderful part of history for that part of the country and coming from New York myself, I was like, Oh, what a bummer like that would be amazing if they still had it there.

Jill: It’s interesting how the movie just doesn’t live up to the book experience. The thing about the movie is that it does have really good production values and it really strived to be a good movie. So in watching it, because I did see it in the theater that That part of it, I really enjoyed.

I just didn’t enjoy how they took the book and how I hated that they used this flashback element that was absolutely unnecessary because the payoff at the end of it was what was focusing on Joe Rantz as an older man, a grandfather. And then the whole movie of the Olympic story takes place in flashback form, and then you come back to him at the end, and he is the lesson in the flashback is that he’s telling a kid or one of his grandkids, it’s not about one person, it’s about the whole boat.

But then the flashback just made it be all about Joe. and you’ve really lost that. Well, if it’s about the whole team, we didn’t focus on the boat very much at all. All of the other men in the boat with the exception of the coxswain become kind of nameless after a while. And you know, you had to pull in the one who got sick and even the character who brought Joe Rantz into rowing, basically saying, Hey there, you know, if you get on the crew team, Money and a job and you can have a place to live, which is a draw for so many people who tried out, but you kind of lose him in the, the rest of the story as well.

So it’s, that was really frustrating that it, it really ended up being one person’s story.

Alison: Though the book was very much Joe Rantz’s story in many ways. And the one thing I will say is I thought Callum Turner was perfectly cast, visually, except for his size. I mean, I thought they were too healthy looking for depression era boys, but I thought he was fantastic.

And I think that was in general. And this was a complaint that I had for another Disney film, Miracle, that we watched. It’s too clean. That was the nicest looking shantytown I have ever seen. You know, everybody had multiple changes of clothes.

Film Buff Fran: It was the Disney ification of the movie.

Alison: Even though they showed the hole in the boot, everything was clean and shiny.

The women were all beautiful with perfectly coiffed hair and red lipstick. We lose. the grit that these kids really had to have to get on the team. It was like Clooney tried, but he was telling, not showing.

Jill: Right. And especially with the shoes where we learned that these again, reminded that these.

Kids are poor because coach Al goes into the lockers and he sees in what pulls out one pair of shoes in, in somebody’s locker and sees the shoes have a hole in them and they’ve been, the hole’s been covered up with cardboard on the inside and then he just puts the shoes back. And nothing happens

Alison: like that was our shoe scene.

You always got to have a shoe scene in movies.

Jill: But, but it’s not like, Oh, well, we’re going to find more ways to raise money to get some money for, you know, or make sure everybody gets a college degree and they get out and can make a better life. But it just kind of ended. And there were, there seemed to be a lot of things that kind of ended.

And although the filming of the race sequences was interesting and very, very fast paced, but it. It showed less rowing and more, let’s show this person in the crowd. This person in the crowd. Boat, person, person, boat, boat, boat, person, boat, boat, train, boat, person, boat, train, boat, boat, boat, train, person, person, person, person, person.

Win!

Film Buff Fran: Adolf Hitler! Laughter Adolf Hitler walking away. Which he actually did! Historically

Alison: accurate. Laughter I didn’t mind that they compressed it. The story of this boat being together was three years. They were the junior boat, but by the time they make it to the Olympics, they are much more experienced.

And I understand for a movie, you have to compress it. But poor Joyce, she got the shaft in this. She has such a complex story in her own right. And the romance between Joe and Joyce. Is so complex and fulfilling and could have been and instead they just kind of stuck in the romance with no payoff.

Jill: gotta have a romance story.

Alison: And the two actors had really nice chemistry and I thought were both so well cast and they could have done something with it, but they got these, who wrote this script? Why didn’t somebody say like, gee, Willikers?

I mean, it really felt like a cartoon of the 1930s instead of trying to portray the actual people.

Film Buff Fran: I think they decided to go along with the storyline of Joe and his missing father, you know, and that I think really was the big kind of underlying current because, in the beginning you see him, like I mentioned earlier, living out of a car, you don’t see any family.

And then it comes out during the story that, his mother has passed when he was young, and his father left having had remarried and had new younger children to feed. So Joe was left on his own. And as he, becomes part of the team, he is taken under the wing by the team’s, boat builder and he was, and I thought he was a wonderful character.

And I think there was a lot of nuance in that character and how he was trying to gently, bring out, all the good in Joe and try to get him to dispel some of the angst and the, loneliness and the solidarity that he was feeling, to make him know that yeah, you have this past where you were left by yourself, but you’re part of something bigger now.

Don’t forget that, you know, enjoy what you have. I really enjoyed the scenes with them together. I thought those were some of the most poignant and really well done scenes in the movie. So I really enjoyed those parts of it.

Alison: You mean the scene where they did wax on, wax off?

Film Buff Fran: Yes, with the whale, whale’s oil. Who knew? I learned so many new things during this movie. I was also bummed out that, when you, we were talking about the clothes, cause I was like, wow, okay, well now they’re going to a dance and everybody has a brand new suit. How’d that happen? And, it just was like, wow.

It didn’t make sense, with the poverty and the absolute conditions that they were under. It just all seemed to kind of miraculously happen.

Jill: Just a point of clarification, the screenwriter for this was Mark L. Smith, who may be best known for The Revenant.

I loved it when, the boat builder came on because I had not revisited the book since we’ve read it. And when he came on, just the. Instant warmth I felt and went, Oh, that’s right. This character is such a wonderful person and I, I enjoyed that, but there was an element of we’ve seen this before with the karate kid and here is the wise person in the background who’s going to, lay some wisdom down on the kid and make him understand what life is all about.

Film Buff Fran: It was nice to watch this movie as a person who has, who had not watched the book because, I had no expectations. The cinematography, I think, was really beautiful. The color tones and the sepia tones that they used, I think that really added to the feel that it wasn’t a more current movie.

And I was a little confused in the beginning because I didn’t realize it was a flashback until they did flash back, you know, and then I saw other people in a boat, and I’m like, wow, this doesn’t make sense with the time frame, you know, and then I realized that they were going to go back in time.

But I really enjoyed the little details about, you know, the way the women dressed and the way people dressed when they went to. The regattas, you know, and all those little details. I thought that the clothing and the cat, the way that they filmed it was really neat. I can’t relate to, the form that the boys take when they’re in the boat.

I’m assuming that they worked with, a lot of different professionals to get the look right of an eight person crew team. But it seemed like they probably had to do a lot of rowing to get used to it, to make it look like they knew what they were doing in that boat.

Alison: I did love the Olympic scene though, the race. I thought that was done very, very well. So I felt the tension, even though I knew the ending. That was probably my favorite scene in the whole movie.

Film Buff Fran: They did a whole Olympic montage. I’m like, yes, we have Berlin. We have the stadium. We have the marching in.

We have their, in their, their outfits. I was like, yes, no medal ceremony, but they did the wreath.

Jill: One thing that I did not like about the Olympics montage was the insertion of Jesse Owens. Into this, I thought that was very heavy handed yes, Jesse Owens, it plays a huge part in the gains, but it just felt very like, let’s remind you how much the Berlin Olympics was about race, both from the German standpoint and from the, American standpoint, because Jesse Owens had a really tough life and was emblematic of, Black life in America at the time.

Film Buff Fran: What did you guys think of the coach and, his whole role in this?

I thought he was a very fascinating figure. Both. for the team and also, his relationship with his wife, which I thought was really fun and interesting. And, it seemed like he had a chip on his shoulder. for the early part of the movie. And it wasn’t until the boat builder, leads us in and we find out that the coach himself was a champion rower, but just, a singularly good rower, not, on a team that maybe performed as well.

I think he makes the comment that if only everybody on your boat was just as good as you, we would have had something, and then he alludes to the fact that these boys have what it takes, to be a great team.

Alison: I say justice for Hazel. And all the coach’s wives in these movies, I had that, I would have the same comment for Miracle.

I would have the same comment for Gold. The poor coach’s wife is constantly reduced to the kitchen or some gratuitous sex scene where she’s like loving to her husband.

Film Buff Fran: Mm hmm.

Alison: And certainly Hazel had to have a lot more grit. And tenacity to her than we see in this movie, she’s, she’s milquetoast at best.

And I think their relationship had to have been much more interesting than what we see. And Joel Edgerton is a better actor than this.

Jill: I enjoyed what we had from the coach, but the movie was long. It was two hours and three months. Take off the flashback element and that gives you a good five to seven minutes back, probably.

Take out lame scenes like him watching the sunset. That was a very long scene where nothing really happens. Where he’s watching the sunset and he has a drink and his wife comes, cause we’re going to have gratuitous sex scenes.

Film Buff Fran: He’s very pensive. He’s very pensive at that scene.

Jill: But that took so long and he could show his pensiveness in a different way, I think, so there were just elements where, and I wonder if it was George Clooney’s vision for this, or if it was feedback from George higher up or producers saying, no, we really need to have the movie tick these boxes and go this way.

Film Buff Fran: Cause it ticked all the sports movie boxes. Oh yeah.

Alison: I mean, every single one, it was like they were going down a checklist. Is it never rainy in Seattle?

Film Buff Fran: It did not seem very dreary.

Alison: Every scene is brightly colored. It’s beautiful to look at it. I’m sure on the big screen, I did watch the streaming. Every scene is just blue, blue water and green grass and clear skies.

And I’m thinking there’s no way in November in Seattle.

Film Buff Fran: Yeah, I had a hard time feeling like where we were in the year because I’m like, okay, when does the season start? Well they’re wearing those really thin t shirts with no sleeves. So it’s gotta be, I mean, I know you sweat, it’s gotta be, you know, at some point fall or, it was kind of hard to follow.

it did. It kind of sugarcoated the whole experience. But it was, it was very interesting, I think to point out, the differences between all the other teams and Harvard and Yale, you know, how they stood out. It was very interesting to see that the way to get to the Olympics was to compete in the Poughkeepsie Regatta.

So that basically. Cut out Harvard and Yale, because Harvard and Yale would never send a boat to that regatta. It was, they always kept themselves separate.

Alison: Well, they kind of condensed. There was the Poughkeepsie regatta, and then there was the Olympic trials, which were off New Jersey, but it was the best college team would get sent. Right.

Film Buff Fran: Right. So they compressed all those races. Because I was like, this is really weird how, you know, and it’s funny because as a quick aside note, my son goes to Syracuse and Syracuse was part of the regatta. So we were like, Oh no! Who do I root for? Do I root for Washington?

But they’re Syracuse. I don’t know how this ends.

Alison: I do want to say one character that I thought they got really, really right was Don Hume. I mean, he was exactly as I envisioned him, except I envisioned him bigger. He’s played by Jack Mulhern, and he is so quiet, so awkward, but such a good rower and the illness and him collapsing in the boat was so well done.

He was one of my favorite characters from the book and he was my favorite character in the movie. I thought they got him really, really Right.

Film Buff Fran: He was great. I liked his portrayal of his character. And then, when they got to the Olympics and then you see him get sick and you’re like, no way, this can’t be happening.

Like this is almost too horrible, to be true. And he was indeed ill, during the Olympics, he must have gotten sick on the boat over, or however the case may be. He had a bad flu, and, I did some research on it, and they said that, the boys chose him the day of the race.

Like, he could have begged out and had the sub, go in for him, but they said, no, we want him. you know, and I don’t know if the portrayal of the movie where we show him in the beginning of that final race, not performing as well as he could have, and then the coxswain Bobby, finally, reaching him on some level and getting him to kind of snap out of his malaise and just turn himself on and, you know, it.

Really, that moment was what, made them win the race when he decided to just go for broke and, do the best that he could. So really, in the end, the story wasn’t really all about Joe. It was kind of about, the underdog. In him, that came out and ultimately, preservered with such extreme, circumstances. And that was really, really neat to watch too.

Jill: I want to go back to coaching a little bit because I saw one of my notes. One of the things that disappointed me about the coaching is that it seemed like the boat only got better because they rode more. And there was no real coaching. It was just like, okay, go and row down, row it again, row this.

and I really missed that. I Just didn’t get the semblance, the feeling. I did get the feeling of understanding how they got to be so good because you can’t do it without a coach. And we missed that little element of it. And maybe that’s me wanting more sport.

Film Buff Fran: But it seemed like the coxswain was the one who really had the right perspective and was able to reach the team and say, this is how we become, the best rowers that we can be.

We, you’re right. We didn’t really see the coaching of the players, and how did they get from novices To really a great team, they said that this team, got faster the longer they rode, which is atypical because you get tired. So, how was that? How are they capable of, turning on another gear, so to speak, and, you know, making that happen compared to all these other, teams.

Jill: Right. And how did the coxswain know to do that? Because he just kind of did it. We just didn’t get to understand how this magical element of the team came to be and how he used that. And the coxswain relationship in the beginning is very strained because he was pulled from the varsity boat to go down to this JV boat.

So we see a little bit of tension and argument with between the coxswain and the coach, but we don’t get to see too much of that transformation of the coxswain. And I think that’s because we don’t have enough time to focus on more than just a couple of boys in the boat. So seeing him transform into the, oh, I’ve got something special here and we’re going to make this happen.

There was just a little bit lacking there for me, but you still had the feel good element of it. Because he managed to make it work and lead the team on it. I mean, you did feel good at the end of the movie.

Film Buff Fran: Oh, yeah. when you really think about it, you know, when you have like a senior team and a junior team or a varsity team and a junior varsity team, they never really truly would ever choose a younger, more inexperienced team to go forward.

At a premier event, and the fact that he did, and he chose this team that was, not as well established, not as well, developed, was very interesting to me, but I believe he just saw something in them that he did not see in the varsity players, like he said, the year before he could, they couldn’t get the job done.

So, why would he expect, it’s. Any better from them this year?

Alison: I think what you’re talking about a little bit, Jill, is they only mentioned the swing once. And in the book, they talk so much about the team coming together in that moment where they row as one, as the swing. And we never see them get to that moment. We sort of infer it, we sort of see it. But we never get that, how they gelled. And how they hit that moment. And in the book, when they’re describing the Olympic scene, you sort of get it in the movie, because I did love that scene. I did love Hume kind of passing out and coming to, and them all coming together.

But we don’t have that moment where we feel it. And that swing is what they talk about so much in the book. And I hate because books and movies are different and I understand that, but I think had they focused on the swing a little bit more, it could have been a theme. That would have carried that how we gel this team together

Film Buff Fran: What I also thought was very interesting was, the added, drama with having to come up with.

a, a specified amount of money to be able to compete. When they said after they had gone through the glory of winning the regatta and then, finding out that they still had to come up with, 5, 000, to be able to send their crew. to Berlin. I didn’t know if that was, just a product of back then, with the, you know, American Olympic Committee, if they just didn’t have the money to start send them just because it was the depression or just in general, that was just the rules and regulations.

And, maybe the crew teams prior once again, were from a more elite institution. So, that dollar amount wouldn’t be a big deal, in previous Olympics, but I thought it was really, It’s marvelous how, they went back, they went to the streets and they went to, their local folks and they saw how, you know, the community rallied together.

And, ultimately, they came so close to the dollar amount and then I don’t know if it’s true in reality, but the head of the University of California team came up with the last bit. of the amount to bring them to Berlin because as he puts it in the movie, the best team should go, I thought, if that really truly happened that was really great to see, because so many times, you know, you see people or you see teams that, they’re doing it, not because the best team is going, but because they want to go.

And it’s not always the best team that, that comes to the top but you know, in this case, everybody rallied around the best squad because, whether they wanted to admit it or not, they were the ones that deserve to go. And I thought that that was really nice how they put that in to the film.

Did you miss that? There was no epilogue. Yeah, it would have been nice to get some blurbs on what happened afterwards to the boys in the boat. What happened to the team? Did anybody go on to become a repeat Olympian? Did they, go on to become successful individuals in their own right? What happened to the coach, after this, because, he kind of seemed like he was down and out in terms of his tenure at the University of Washington. You know, if he didn’t produce, they were going to can him, it sounded like. So, this probably gave him a lot of goodwill in the short term at the university.

So it would have been nice to get a sense of, where they went kind of a la miracle. You know, at the end where they showed, the real life Miracle hockey players and then their movie counterparts and blurbs on, what they did, where are they now kind of thing.

I mean, of course, you know, unfortunately all the players in this movie are now deceased, but it would have been nice to see, what kind of life these boys led. after the fact, as Olympians.

Alison: I’ll tell this to you, Fran, and if you haven’t read the book, Joe and Joyce did live happily ever after.

Film Buff Fran: Yes, I read it online. that they had children and, they did end up together. I thought it was very sweet between the two of them. I mean, I thought that, the beginning when she said that, he wrote her a letter when she was moving away and they were like childhood sweethearts.

And then, almost like she searched him out. When they were at the same college together I thought the pairing of them, I thought that was a really wonderful part of the movie that, like you said earlier, never really went anywhere. They showed them on a date that was marred by the introduction by Joe’s dad.

into the picture, and then they showed them at a dance, but, I think went for the cheap, kind of scene where she, you know, sneaks him into her, a dorm. And, you know, I really didn’t know what they were going to do with that. At this point in the movie, besides get a yell from the dormitory supervisor and him having to go out a window.

I mean, that’s, like you said, Jill, little things like that could have been deleted and they could have, been drawing more on the authenticity of the sport. And, getting us to understand why they were so darn good.

Jill: What’s amazing is that Joe Rantz as a young boy had amazing handwriting in that card that he gave to Joyce.

Film Buff Fran: The cutting was all perfect. The artistry of the card was beautiful. Of course I would have kept it.

Alison: Justice for Joyce, man.

Film Buff Fran: Justice for Joyce. I know. It is sad that, like you pointed out, Alison, that like in all these movies, they make a nod to the spouses and the support staff, but you never really get.

The true, fleshed out, pathos of these other characters. And they would be so interesting to kind of hear from. it is sad. But, you know, once again, there’s only so much time, for movies. And this one was a longer flick. But it was sad that, you know, like you guys said, there were parts, I guess, from the book that could have been incorporated more fully. into the movie just to make it a little bit more well rounded.

Jill: But not bad. Overall, if you need to watch a movie, pretty good Olympic movie to watch. I would say it’s a

Film Buff Fran: pretty good Olympic movie. I mean, like I said, it has all the good feels, you know, when we talked last time about, the Russian gymnast, I was like, oh, it was an interesting watch, but, it was just so sad from start to finish that, just to see a really good, just purely feel good, Olympic story was, it was just nice. No extra drama, you know, and, and boys in the boat, not so hard on the eyes. Exactly.

Jill: All right, Fran. Well, thank you so much. And we will see you hopefully at the end of the year.

Film Buff Fran: Thanks so much, ladies. It’s always a pleasure.

Jill: Thank you so much, Fran. So, you won’t see Boyz n the Book clean up at the Oscars this weekend, because it, even though it had one of those prime Christmas release dates, uh, it wasn’t nominated for anything. Was it robbed? You tell us, let us know and join our discussion in our Facebook group, that’s, , keep the flame alive podcast group on Facebook.

And if you haven’t read the book, do so, you know, you can check out , our very first book club, , episode , with book club Claire, that was our very first book club choice and, It’s an excellent, excellent book. , if you want to buy your very own copy, look for it in our bookshop.

org site, that’s bookshop. org slash shop slash flame alive pod. If you buy any book through that link, we will receive a commission and that money goes to support bringing you the most fun coverage from Paris.

Tokyo 2020 News

Jill: What was that? We have not heard the Tokyo 2020 song for a long time. Wow. Okay. So what happened? We have some follow up file. Do you remember the Belarusian coach who forced the sprinter home? Yes, I do. All right. So Yuri Moisevich has received a five year ban from the Athletics Integrity Unit for his actions against sprinter Kristina, , Tsimanouskaya.

She questioned on social media during the games why they had entered her in the 4×400 relay, which was an event she had never done before. Because she is a 100 and 200 meter sprinter, 400’s quite a different beast, as we’ve heard before. , so they entered her in the 4×400 relay without telling her, and then when, she questioned this, they decided to send her home.

And at the airport, she got police to help her and was taken in as a refugee by Poland partially because she had gotten word that look, , when you get here, there’s a lot of talk against you. You could be in a lot of trouble and a lot of danger. So Poland had helped her out. The IOC revoked Moisevich’s credentials at the time and sent him packing from Tokyo as well.

Now Moisevich is banned from working in athletics until. February 2029, and Smona Skaia is now able to run for Poland. She competed at World Championships last year and plans to, vie to compete in Paris.

Paris 2024 News

Jill: You’ve gotten to the not allowed section on Duolingo, I see. Oh man, more controversy with the opening ceremony. Again, the plans for the opening ceremony to have it on the Seine, never been done before. I bet never ever be done again. The Associated Press and others are reporting that the areas on the upper banks of the sun that had been designated as free tickets.

will not be openly distributed now. So tickets will be offered by invitation only through town’s hosting events, local councils, and sports federations, and all invitees will have to go through security checks. So the reason why this is happening, because there’s been a lot of Concerns about security lately, many, many threats, no specific plots that they’ve uncovered for sure, but there’s a lot to look into, there was a lot of concern with the booksellers that line the send currently, they will be allowed to remain there.

The Paris organizing committee had wanted them removed because that was a security threat and rightfully. I mean, I hear the arguments on both sides, booksellers have been hit hard during COVID. This is a great time for them to boost their business with tons and tons of tourists around.

But at the same time, like somebody could use those to do something bad.

Alison: It’s an easy place to hide things that you don’t want security to find.

Jill: Exactly. So now everybody who thought they could go see the opening ceremony. We’ll no longer get to do that.

Alison: And also in the AP article, they mentioned that they are expecting 50, 000 people to be in the apartment buildings along the Seine.

Wow. I don’t know how they’re going to manage that

Jill: either. This was a tough sell for security. I think anyway, it’s an amazing idea. And I think in that perfect world of we all live in the Olympic truce. And everybody, everybody’s going to play nice for a couple of weeks. We know that doesn’t happen and there’s just been so much more unrest in the world over the last year, two years, that so many people in one place, it’s just, it’s terrifying to think about sometimes.

The sad thing is, as I believe I saw this on the, , Paris planning Facebook group, as somebody said, well, okay, now. No foreigners will basically be able to go because they’re not going to be able to be invited and if Parisians and local people get out of town in August anyway for holiday or you want them to get out of town to make it easier to get around.

Who’s going to come? How are you going to get tickets?

Alison: Well, that’s not entirely true because one, you could have bought tickets and the purchase tickets are still in place. So whoever bought tickets for the opening ceremony, they’re not taking your tickets away because they can do the security checks because they’ve got your name.

And they’re assigned to a person. And local councils and federations can invite foreigners. They don’t have to be French citizens or local Parisians. I think the idea is they just want somebody responsible for a person, that it’s not so random. I’m not sure it’s going to do all that much for security to not have anybody come.

I think it’s a little xenophobic, to be honest. And we know. That’s a problem in France, but I see where they’re coming from. I mean, they were already going to ticket the free event and check people. I think this is just another layer of, it’ll make it that much harder for somebody who’s trying to do something bad to do it.

Jill: Yeah. I still think that there’s possibilities for somebody to do it. I just don’t think you’re going to take away that much. Of the threat, unless they are really cordoning off the entire area for blocks and blocks deep.

Alison: It’ll be interesting to see what they do for us for press tickets, because always for opening and closing ceremonies, the press has to apply and get a ticket.

So will there be more press tickets available because they want to fill the banks. They want to fill us and they’ve already vetted us Or will they be fewer because they don’t want the press reporting on anything that happens with security

Jill: oh, I I think the vanity of the press being there would be and of course my own desires to make sure we get to see This but I would not be surprised if it’s just easier to give all the press tickets or now that even if they were going to cordon off some of the area for press and not everybody would be able to get in, maybe they take some of these tickets and go, okay, now this layer of press gets to be on , the banks.

We’ll see what happens, but it’s, it’s an interesting development and I wouldn’t be surprised if more developments happen as we get closer and closer to the games.

Some happier news, the Athletes Village is officially completed. The complex in Saint Denis consists of about 40 low rise apartment buildings that will house 14, 000 people during the Olympics and 9, 000 during the Paralympics.

It was basically completed on time. We got this information from, Associated Press and also from AFP via France24. com. they said, it exceeded the March 1st deadline, but the handoff happened on leap year day. So thank goodness for an extra day. Maybe, the budget was, 2 billion euros, which is about 2. 2 billion dollars, and they went marginally over budget. They didn’t quite say what that was, but it was, they’re pretty happy with how things went, the budget was funded two thirds by private real estate companies, and then the state contributed another 646 million euros. So after the games, there will be 2, 800 apartments available.

One third of those will be sold to private homeowners, one third will be designated as public housing, and one third will be rentals, including rentals for students.

Okay, we’ve got an official poster now.

Alison: Described, and I love this, a phantasmagoria of sport in the city.

Jill: Ah, yes. Who, who described that? I think that was the organizing committee.

Oh, wow. Okay. the poster did get revealed. It was, , created by illustrator Ugo Contoni, and it is the first time we have a diptych in games history. So there are two posters, one for the Olympics, one for the Paralympics. They can be separate. You combine them together and make one big poster for the games.

Gattoni spent over 2, 000 hours on these posters and you could tell. Because it looks like a big Where’s Waldo.

Alison: That was the first thing I thought of when I saw it. I said, I’m going to play Olympic Paralympic Where’s Waldo. I was hoping he snuck, like, Thomas Bach in there. Or some people. But I don’t, any person that I saw just seemed to be generic.

And I was a little, I was a little disappointed, Ugo.

Jill: But I think you could still play it and go, where’s Friege? Because there are a few Frieges scattered in, in the posters.

Alison: There are, and listener Nicholas pointed out that the diving board has the Olympic motto on it. Nice. Nice. So there’s, there’s many, many, many layers to these posters.

Jill: Creative Review in the UK publication, they also mentioned Where’s Waldo, but they call it Where’s Wally over there. it said the Olympics and Paralympics are a serious affair for athletes, yet Gattoni’s posters are a playful reminder of the joy and feverish atmosphere that sweeps through when the games are in town.

Which I thought was an interesting take on it because it really is kind of hectic. There’s so much going on. It’s a little art deco y or it harkens back to that era, but there’s just, it’s a massive scene of Paris with the Eiffel tower on the Olympic side, other parts of the city on, on the Paralympic side.

And, filled with people and athletes and so much going on, Fast Company called the Friezes, adorable red blobs inspired by a French symbol of freedom.

Alison: So a couple of years ago, I shared with the viewers that I was having this nightmare dream of you and I being trapped on a roller coaster. and trying to get to different locations at the Olympics and Paralympics.

This is the poster of that dream. It’s a bit of a fever dream visual here.

Jill: It is. And it’s completely different from most Olympic posters just because of the amount of stuff going on in these two drawings. We’ll try to link to them or insert pictures into the show notes. but I gotta say, you know, I liked , the pieces better together.

Alison: It is very beautiful together. When you see the whole stadium combined with it.

Jill: And I did want to color. So if the organizing committee is smart, they would have a coloring book for sale in the store. Think about it, Paris.

Also we have something from the follow up file. The man who stole the bag with the security plans from the train, he was arrested and sentenced to seven months in jail.

I was just shocked. My mouth dropped with how fast this came. This just went to completion in no time at all. Turns out the suspect was a known thief and this was a repeat offense. So he is doing some time.

Also we have a little bit of news from the surfing novella. The construction of the new judging tower is underway. The foundations are complete. These are in the ocean and the assembly of the tower will start on March 11th. That is also courtesy of france24. com.

Tons of hospitality house news.

Alison: So many mess halls.

Jill: Oh my goodness. So House Party Blog reported that Team Netherlands House is looking for volunteers. They are looking for people to work catering in the kitchen, hosting and hospitality, and tech and logistic roles.

So you have to be 18 years or more at the start of the Olympics, you must be available from the entirety of the games. So that’s July 24 to August 13th, speak fluent Dutch and English and have a valid Dutch ID or passport to travel to France. They will pay for travel, accommodations, transport, meals, and a kit.

I know. This is very unlike some volunteer stuff. So they’ve got some cash behind this.

Alison: The Dutch know what to do, man.

Jill: Exactly. We, the deadline to apply is March 17, 2024. So we will have a link to that application in the show notes.

Club France has put premium hospitality packages on sale. Club France is known for having a very cheap entry fee. Regardless, it’s going to be 2 to 5 euros, but of course you’re going to have some VIP sections. The first one will be Le Club Tricolore. It is a guaranteed entry with a dedicated VIP door. You will be located close to the stage and you will get a premium snack and two drinks for your ticket, which starts at 132 euros.

And then there is also Le Terrace Bleu. Which is a guaranteed entry to the terrace overlooking the Grand Hall, which seems to be like a VIP only area, also a dedicated VIP door. You will get a cocktail dinner with unlimited drinks and athlete meetings. those tickets start at 354 euros.

Alison: But wait, there’s more!

Jill: I know! Denmark announced that there will be a Denmark pavilion at the Maison du Denmark, just off the Champs Élysées near the Arc de Triomphe. The theme of the pavilion will be Everyday Wonder. So it will have interactive exi exhibitions, three video installations, special events, and talks from Danish experts.

It will be open from July 26th to August 11th from 11 a. m. to 10 p. m. It will be free. Very nice. Also new New Zealand house.

Alison: Oh, go silver ferns. Give me a party.

Jill: They will be located at the Marriott Champs Élysées, open from July 24th, which is two days before the games start, to August 11th, which is Closing Ceremonies Day, from 11 a. m. until late

They are also looking for volunteer help, but this is unpaid. You must fund your own travel and accommodation, but you do get a free uniform. You would have to be 18 years old or more. Uh, as of January 1st of this year, they are looking for. EU citizens or residents or people who can obtain a visitor visa that declares volunteering or unpaid work is a reason for entry.

We will have a link to the application in the show notes. Potentially. There will be a Saudi Arabia pavilion, according to AFP, Saudi Arabia is negotiating with French officials to have it at Invalides, the site of Napoleon’s tomb. However, that is causing a bit of controversy because the site is historically very important and there are people who are worried that they’re selling it off to for use.

Even though I did read that there have been, fashion shows there. So there’s a little controversy. The Ministry of Defense has laid out strict conditions that the Saudis have not yet accepted. And people have noted that Saudi Arabia’s human rights record is problematic, but also noted that you can point at a lot of countries. And say how problematic they are, too.

Alison: But let’s not downplay the Saudis human rights violations here.

Jill: Right, right, right. So there’s potential for a Saudi, uh, Olympic pavilion. We will see how that goes and keep you up to date.

TKFLASTAN Update

Alison: Welcome to Shookflushton.

Jill: It is the time of the show where we check in with our team, Keep the Flame Alive. These are past guests and listeners of the show who make up our citizenship of Shookflushton, our very own country. What do you got for us, Alison?

Alison: Bree Walker finished fifth in the two woman event at the World Bobsled Championships, her best finish at the event.

Katie Moon won bronze in pole vault at the World Indoor Athletic Championships. She also announced that she will host the Katie Moon Pole Vaulting Classic at Olmstead Fall High School in Ohio on June 8th.

Jill: Thank you, listener Meredith, for tipping me off to this because this is not far from where I live and it is in my calendar right now I’m so excited.

Alison: I also want to mention Katie came home in a boot. Oh That Achilles injury. So she is she called it operation heal quickly I think on Facebook so we are cheering for you Katie to get that foot better.

Jill: Parapowerlifter Louise Sugden won silver at the Paralifting World Cup event in Dubai.

Alison: Erin Jackson has finished her World Cup season on ice at World Champs. She got a silver in the team sprint and finished fifth in the 500 meters. Not what she wanted, of course, but, you know.

She has a gold medal overall, a great season, and she’s looking forward to the next one. Now she’s going to compete in her first world sprint championships in Insel, Germany on March 7th through 8th. And I saw this one on Instagram, Maggie Shea and Stephanie Robel are sailing in the world championships in the Canary islands through March 10th.

This is an Olympic qualifier right now. They’re in 18th. They had two good days, two bad days. We are only a quarter of the way through the regatta. So we’re going to keep our fingers crossed. And I, posted something about go sail fast, ladies. So that is going to make them win.

Jill: Exactly. Exactly. The power of Shukla Stan is behind them.

Alison: And Andrew Marinus latest books have officially launched and updated Inaugural Ballers Strong Inside and two books in the series Beyond the Game Athletes Changing the World. We’ll put them in our bookshop. org store and you can get. All the books from our book club and Andrew Marin is probably one of our favorites at bookshop. org.

Jill: Excellent. That will do it for this episode. Please let us know what you thought about Boys in the Boat.

Alison: You can connect with us on Xthreads and Instagram at flamealivepod. Email us at flamealivepod at gmail. com. Call or text us at 208 333 4255. 3 5 2 6 3 4 8. That’s 2 0 8 Flame It. Be sure to join the Keep the Flame Alive podcast group on Facebook.

And don’t forget to get our weekly newsletter filled with other fun stories about this week’s episodes and maybe some earplugs. Sign up at flamealivepod. com.

Jill: Next week we will be celebrating two years to go until the Winter Paralympics. Could we see a new event? Sled hockey player Monica Quimby will join us to talk about the development of women’s sled hockey and when we can hope to see it at the Paralympics.

Thank you so much for listening and until next time, keep the flame alive.