The Giro d’Italia bike race is moving from Israel to Italy but this story lives on — about the heroic sports hero Gino Bartali, the Tour de France and Giro champ who saved 800 Jews from the Holocaust by teaming up with a convent of singing nuns and document-forging priests.
Gino was a record-breaking cyclist and sporting celebrity. He wasn’t Jewish. He didn’t have any stake in the war. Yet he defied both the fascist Mussolini and the Nazis, for no reason other than to stand up for fellow humans. Hollywood couldn’t have written it better.
But Bartali was so low key about what he did during the war, you’ve likely never heard of him.
Instead of telling everyone about his exploits, he went back to competitive racing and was only recognized for his inspirational activities in 2013, after he’d died.