309. Jesse Owens: The Man Who Defied Hitler

During the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany, Adolf Hitler vowed to use the games to Aryan superiority to the rest of the world. was convinced that the white, Aryan male was of the superior race, and promised his games prove this superiority on the Olympic stage. American and field athlete, James "Jesse" Owens, had a idea.

Owens was an excellent athlete at Ohio University during the early 1930s. During one track in 1935, Owens set three world records, and another, in what has been called "the greatest minutes ever in sports." Although Owens found great in his athletic career, he grew up during time in America when black people were still discriminated against. Segregation laws were still in effect many parts of the country, and Owens felt prejudice directly. He was not able to stay the same hotel rooms as his white teammates, was he allowed to eat at the same . Ironically, Owens was treated better during his time the 36th Olympics in Germany.

During the games, became annoyed that Owens was winning so many medals. Owens was proving Hitler's racist claims and as untrue. Hitler didn't like it. Owens ended winning four gold medals at these games. Hitler to shake his hand. One of the defining of the games is when Owens was befriended German athlete Luz Long. Owens cherished his friendship Long, especially because he knew that Long could out of favor with Hitler's brutal regime.

Many fans shook Owen's hands, even though Hitler did , but when Owens returned to the United States, found not much had changed in there.





CLOSE