The idea of “swing,” the state during which oarsmen row in perfect synchronicity (and also row most effectively), symbolizes the unity and bond of brotherhood between the nine American rowers at the 1936 Olympics. Swing is described as a kind of ideal state of harmony, one that can only be achieved when all the rowers trust and respect each other. The brotherhood and togetherness of “swing” is also implicitly contrasted to the murderous hatred and racism that motivated Hitler and the Nazis.
Swing Quotes in The Boys in the Boat
As they flew down the last few hundred yards, their eight taut bodies rocked back and forth like pendulums, in perfect synchronicity. Their white blades flashed above the water like the wings of seabirds flying in formation. With every perfectly executed stroke, the expanse between them and the now exhausted Cal boys widened. In airplanes circling overhead, press photographers struggled to keep both boats in the frame of a single shot.