Glory Ride

Author(s): Book, music & lyrics by Victoria Buchholz & Todd Buchholz

Gino Bartali, one of the most beloved of Italian athletes of all time, had a secret life. A Tour de France winner, in the 1940s he was considered the second most famous man in Italy—after Mussolini. His cycling achievements on the Alps and Pyrenees were legendary, but until recently, few knew that he risked his life by saving hundreds of people from fascism during World War II.

With his cycling career as a cover, Bartali cycled thousands of miles between cities across Italy. Hidden in the frame of his bike were falsified identity cards and other secret documents to help victims cross borders to safety. His bravery rescued hundreds of persecuted Jews and other refugees, many of whom were children. In 2013, Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, recognised Gino Bartali with the honour of Righteous Among the Nations.

Bartali was a local hero as well as a national figurehead, renowned in his community for his indefatigable commitment to helping others. His story has a powerful message about bravery, loyalty and doing the right thing regardless of the consequences.

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