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Jesse Owens: the black athlete who brought Nazi power to its knees under Hitler's own nose

2021-07-31T23:37:44.228Z

He was the monarch of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. But in his country he was little recognized. 07/31/2021 18:42 Clarín.com sports Updated 07/31/2021 6:42 PM Jesse Owens became a celebrity in Olympic sport extemporaneously , because at the time of his reign within athletics he did not even have the recognition of the authorities of his country, who segregated him as black, when he came to kneel the Nazi power right under Adolf Hitler's very nose, in Germany . Representative of the athleti



07/31/2021 18:42

  • Clarín.com

  • sports

Updated 07/31/2021 6:42 PM

Jesse Owens became a celebrity in Olympic sport extemporaneously

, because at the time of his reign within athletics he did not even have the recognition of the authorities of his country, who segregated him as black, when he

came to kneel the Nazi power right under Adolf Hitler's very nose, in Germany

.

Representative of the athletic team of the United States in the

Olympic Games

of Berlin 1936,

the first great sprinter in modern times

became an emblem of the fight against racism without knowing the extent of his accomplishments, because

few showed her gratitude

for what has been achieved in an emblematic way from sports.

Born in Alabama on September 12, 1913, this American athlete of African-American origin

achieved international fame by achieving four gold medals at the Games in Germany

: 100 meter sprints, 200 sprint meters, long jump and as a participant of the winning team in the 4x100 meter relay race.

He was the grandson of a slave and the seventh son of a farmer.

He received the nickname "Jesse" from a Cleveland professor

who couldn't understand his accent when

young Owens said his name was "JC";

in English, "JC", acronym for James Cleveland, have a phonetic similar to "Jesse"

.

Athlete Jesse Owens dazzled with his four gold medals in Berlin 1936.

Owens always attributed his successful track and field career to the encouragement of his coach during his studies at Fairview Junior High, Charles Riley, who introduced him to the sport.

Since

Jesse worked mending shoes after school

, Riley allowed him to train before school, rather than during regular practice hours.

When he arrived in Berlin in August 1936, he was already a celebrity in the United States

.

What he achieved in his country in 1935 during a university competition, the Big Ten Conference, was considered "the best 45 minutes in sport."

In that span, Owens broke five world records and equaled another

.

One of them, the long jump (eight meters and thirteen centimeters), remained in force for 25 years.

Jesse Owens beats Adolf Hitler's Aryan power

Jesse Owens was one of nine siblings and had a suggestive nickname - the bullet.

He became the undisputed star of the 1936 Olympics

and refuted National Socialist theories of Aryan racial supremacy.

Thus it was that the African-American hero angered the Führer and thwarted the propaganda plans of Nazi Germany.

Jesse Owens on the podium of the 1936 Berlin long jump. To his left, the German Lutz Long gives the Nazi salute.

(AP)

The protagonist himself said that minutes before leaving, he finally happened to say hello to his box.

And that they cordially greeted

Adolf Hitler

, leader of a Germany that would end up invading half of Europe, declaring

World War II

and causing the Holocaust that would end with millions of Jewish men, women and children murdered in captivity.

What he added in Berlin led him to become a legend

.

On the third day of the Games he won his first gold medal, stopping the clock at 10: 3 seconds in the 100 meter sprint.

The fourth he won in the long jump and on the fifth day he won the 200-meter race.

On August 9, he was finally awarded another gold in the 4 x 100 relay

, not without controversy, since both he and Ralph Metcalfe participated in substitution of Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, both Jews who could not compete.

The story of Jesse Owens was also told in the movies.

The “colossus of speed”, another of his nicknames, inspired Race (which means both race and race in English) a Canadian film with a French, German and North American co-production, which was released in 2016. The film was called “The hero of Berlin "in Spain and" The triumph of the spirit "in some Latin American countries.

Owens in full swing.

An athlete who transcended his time.

Whereas in Germany Owens had been allowed to travel and stay in the same hotels as white athletes,

upon arriving in his native country, the champion was looked down upon

, since at that time African Americans did not enjoy the same rights as the population. White.

As if that were not enough,

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt never received him in the White House

because his priority was to get the vote of the southern population, openly racist.

He didn't even send her a written congratulation.

After the championship parade in New York,

Owens was not allowed to enter the Waldorf Astoria Hotel

through the front door, and

had to arrive at the hotel reception on the elevator

.

His moment of glory quickly evaporated and

Owens was chaining unimportant jobs: manager of a laundry, and was even a jazz dancer

.

She also tried her luck in the movies with the child prodigy Shirley Temple, going so far as to "sell" her swift legs in three-to-quarter shows in which she raced against a horse, a dog or a car.

Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympics.

But Jesse Owens was also a cultured man: he

read and wrote a lot and possessed extraordinary knowledge of music

.

In the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower appointed him a United States Goodwill Ambassador to the Third World, with an annual salary of $ 75,000.

However, at the end of the decade,

Owens definitely moved away from sports and all social events to create his own public relations company

.

The former athlete dedicated himself to giving motivational speeches around the country in which he recounted anecdotes from his life that made him the figure that every young black man wanted to be: honest and pure.

When the Black Power movement emerged

in the 1960s and 1970s,

Owens was harshly criticized for failing to take a stand on it

.

He had been a chain smoker since he was thirty, and

from December 1979 he was hospitalized on and off with an extremely aggressive

and drug-resistant

type of lung cancer

.

On March 31, 1980, "the ebony antelope," the nickname by which he was known, died at the age of 66

.

He was buried in the Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago.

Despite the fact that President Jimmy Carter had ignored Owens' request to cancel his country's boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, he ended up paying tribute to Owens after his death:

"Perhaps no athlete better symbolized the human struggle against tyranny, poverty and racial fanaticism

.

"

Look also

Tokyo 2020: a security agent did not recognize her, threatened and assaulted her, but she still won bronze

The Pumas are bronze in Tokyo 2020: a "deja vu" and a project that had its Olympic award despite everything

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-07-31

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