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9. 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
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.
fans shook Owen's hands, even though Hitler did
, but when Owens returned to the United States,
found not much had changed in there.