Former Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini will be 2015's grand marshal of the 126th Rose Parade. The celebrated Trojan will follow in the footsteps of last year's grand marshall, legendary Los Angeles broadcaster Vin Scully.
The Torrance High and USC alum was on the 1936 U.S. Olympic team and was a Prisoner of War in World War II. His powerful story was fantastically told through Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book "Unbroken" which chronicles his life being captured by the Japanese Navy after spending 47 days adrift out on the ocean.
Zamperini, 97, still travels around with great vigor on speaking tours including frequent visits to USC's campus. He will be featured in Hollywood this December with the release of a new movie "Unbroken" all leading up to the January 1st Rose Bowl Parade.
Zamperini has been an impactful character in the Torrance community where he was raised, the USC community where he raced on the Track and Field team, and of course the military community for his dedicated service. It should be important to note that Zamperini was the top U.S. finisher in the 5,000-meter race back in 1936 and was also awarded the highly distinguished NCAA Inspiration Award in 2012.
Just some food for thought here, but something tells me current USC coaches (and Torrance natives) Steve Sarkisian and Tim Drevno would love nothing more than to shake hands with the Torrance Legend alongside the teams' captains at the Rose Bowl Game opening coin toss, as customary for the honorary grand marshall.
Once again Colorado Boulevard will be the place to be on New Years Day, regardless of whether USC can overcome some stiff competition from Arizona State and UCLA in the Pac-12 South and then beat Oregon or Stanford or maybe even UW in the Pac-12 North, before hopefully earning a postseason berth in the "Granddady of Them All."