It Happened Today, September 12, 1913: Jesse Owens, the athlete who stunned the world, was born

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Considered one of the greatest athletics legends in the world: James Cleveland OwensHe said Jesse (nicknamed by one of his professors), he had a great advantage in overturning theories about white supremacy supported by Nazi Germany, winning four gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. However, despite this historical achievement, upon returning to his homeland, he was not so lucky, that his sports career as an athlete, as well as his legend, was built and strengthened only in those fateful five days of his life. competitive life.

Jesse Owens: Origins and Beginnings

Jesse Owens Born in September 12, 1913 to me Oakville In Alabama, but at the age of nine he moved to live his childhood there Cleveland in Ohio; Jesse He came from a very poor family, they used to live to live, in a very difficult historical period like that big disappointment which I signed United State Beginning in 1929. Student of technical schools, after lessons he was divided between work and training. The turning point came in 1933, in the Student National Championship, where he suddenly attracted attention thanks to his great athletic skills, both in speed and in extended jumps; This made him confess toOhio state community: From that moment on, he could therefore seriously devote himself to athletics.

The first records and the 1936 Berlin Olympics

The successes were not long in coming. The 25 May 1935during the Meet the Big Ten From Ann ArborAnd the Owens Rank those who are considered The best forty-five minutes of sports: In less than three-quarters of an hour, in fact, he broke five world records and just over a sixth. One of these, the long jump (8.13 meters) remained undefeated until 1960. Jesse She also broke records for 220 flat yards (20 3), 220 yards (22″ 6) and a 100 yard draw (9″ 4).

then fateful 25 May 1935Jesse Owens Came to me Berlin who was already a celebrity. It is precisely in the German capital, a phenomenon Oakville You will be a dedicated legend: in 4 days in reality he will achieve many successes, such as many gold medals that made everyone in the standsOlympiad They expected the victory of German athletes. The August 3, 1936 Won the 100m final August 4 long jump August 5 200m final and August 9 Relay 4 x 100 meters. This historical record of four gold medals in the same Olympic Games in athletics was only equaled by 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles From his native Karl Louis.

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Jesse Owens
Jesse Owens, 4 gold medalist at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Read also: Race – the color of victory, Jesse Owens: legend, hero


Jesse he returned to United State He expected recognition from his government, which unfortunately did not reach. US President Franklin Delano also RooseveltAt that time she ran in the 1936 presidential election and was concerned about the reaction of the southern states, and canceled the appointment with the multi-Olympic champion in White House. after, after Berlin He turned professional, participated in different races and also launched himself in particular in challenges with racehorses; Later he moved to teaching, working as a sports coach. In the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower Appointed as a sports ambassador United State In the Third world; However, at the end of the contract, Owens Completely give up sporting and social events. He passed away on March 31, 1980 TucsonHe is only 66 years old.


in 1976 Jesse Owens got Silver necklace of the Olympic orderfor insulting racism at the 1936 Olympics and won an award Presidential Medal of Freedom By US President Gerald strongholdAnd dedicate these words to him: Owens He has overcome the barriers of racism, segregation, and bigotry, showing the world that an African American belongs in the world of athletics.”. In 2012 it was also included in IAAF Hall of Fame.

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Queenie Bell

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