How often does a single incident continue to haunt someone long after the event?
Perhaps even for the rest of their lives?
John Conger was among those who wondered whether things might have turned out very differently, had he not caught the mumps just weeks before the 1936 Olympic trials in crew.
As the best seller, Boys in the Boat, tells the story, a scrappy team from the University of Washington was able to come East and against all odds defeat the Ivies that year. The UW crew –the Huskies– went on to Berlin where they won gold in the so-called "Hitler Olympics."
It was the University of Pennsylvania crew, however, that came in a close second to UW in the Olympic trials – without its bowman, John (Jack) Conger. And for the rest of his life, Jack Conger believed that but for his “childhood disease,” Penn would have won, his son, Dick, told me.
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