The critically acclaimed movie, “Unbroken,” released recently on DVD, tells the story of an American athlete and war hero, and it’s a story from which we can all draw inspiration.


“Unbroken” is a masterfully written story about Louis Zamperini and his amazing tale of heroism.

His story is inspiring and is an admirable lesson in overcoming some of life’s most adverse situations.

As a boy from Torrance, Calif., Zamperini loved to run, so his brother inspired him to compete in track and field.

Zamperini’s event was the one-mile run and he qualified for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany.

Running taught him lessons in discipline and hard work, and it also taught him to fight through pain. These traits were partially responsible for how he survived through the toughest times in World War II.

Eventually Zamperini qualified for the Olympics. His personal record in the metric mile (1500m) was 3 minutes, 52 seconds.

“I’d made it this far and refused to give up because all my life I had always finished the race,” said Zamperini, according to

Zamperini worked very hard, and his positive perspective is what helped propel him to the elite level of competition.

A champion is not just physically strong, they also have mental endurance.

“One moment of pain is worth a lifetime of glory,” Zamperini said in the website article. The ability to endure discomfort assisted Zamperini.

Zamperini also had trial and tribulation during World War II, as his B-24 aircraft was shot down over the Pacific Ocean where he was stranded in a raft for 47 days.

“You only have one life. You should never be too busy to save it,” he said. Starvation, hunger, intense sunlight and dehydration were all factors that made survival incredibly difficult for Zamperini on that raft. His seasoned mind is what kept him alive.

“We had truly made it on a wing and prayer,” said Zamperini.

Eventually Zamperini’s raft’s meandering path was intercepted by a Japanese ship. They took him as a prisoner of war into one of the most extreme prisoner camps in World War II.

He endured horrible circumstances consecutively for 47 days. Zamperini’s description entails the cruelty of being a prisoner in the interrogation camp, Ofuna.

“Ofuna was the secret, high-intensity interrogation camp run by the Japanese Navy, hidden from the populace and all relief agencies. There would be no Red Cross supervision, no improved treatment. No humanity,” said Zamperini.

Zamperini battled the conditions in Japan using his strong mentality.

“To live, a man needs food, water, and a sharp mind,” said Zamperini. His mental strength endured much in his 97-year life. He died July 2, 2014.

A sharp mind is certainly what he had. To remain conscious and to fight for your life for so long in those conditions is astounding.

After being held in several different camps Zamperini was allowed to walk out of the front gates when the Japanese finally surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945.

“The guards disappeared, and I walked out the front gate waving my shirt to a B-29 as it flashed the message ‘the war is over’ in Morse code,” Zamperini recalled.

These days it’s hard to find people who have survived  through so many circumstances. This story is one of a kind.

Zamperini went through so much in his lifetime, his tale is one that you can draw inspiration from.

Zamperini’s courageousness provides an example for everyone to be inspired.

By Miles Chase

Miles Chase is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline. He is a senior majoring in communications with a minor in business. He runs on the track and field team and lives in Kirkwood, Mo. In his free time, Miles enjoys working out, listening to music and making money at work. He plans to be a business sales representative after college.