Soichi Sakamoto and the Three-Year Swim Club

Patrick Jackson's picture
August 16, 2022
District Of Columbia, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Biography, Sport History / Studies

Presented by Julie Checkoway, author of the New York Times bestseller “The Three-Year Swim Club,” which is in development as a major motion picture; and Kelli Y. Nakamura, associate professor at Kapi’olani Community College and author of the article “Soichi Sakamoto and the Three-Year Swim Club: ‘The World’s Greatest Swimming Coach.’” Kate Clarke Lemay, the Portrait Gallery's acting senior historian, will moderate the Q&A.

This conversation will center on the biography and portraits and of the pioneering Japanese American swim coach Soichi Sakamoto. During the Great Depression, Sakamoto established the Three-Year Swim Club for children on Maui’s sugar plantations, with the goal of transforming a multiethnic youth group into Olympic-level swimmers in an unprecedented amount of time. Sakamoto’s training club succeeded, and his achievement defied the racial prejudice against Japanese Americans at that time. This program is part of the Greenberg Steinhauser Forum in American Portraiture.

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