The Olympic myth that infuriated Hitler

No one has ever run so fast or jumped that far, at a time when athletes were far from a modern professional. However, in historical ones Berlin Olympics in the summer of 1936, Jesse Owens was more of a political icon than an athlete and became a global symbol for fighting racism.

In fact, today the award bearing his name is the most important award given each year by the United States Athletics Federation, his home country.

Jesse Owens, runner from Alabama with 9 siblings and a more suggestive title – The Bullet -, He became the undisputed star of those games and disproved National Socialist theories of Aryan racial supremacy. And so, that was it The African-American hero angered the Führer and thwarted the propaganda plans of Nazi Germany. This is his story.

Owens won a prize in Berlin for the long jump.

The Frustrating Games of Adolf Hitler

It was Joseph Goebbels who persuaded Adolf Hitler to host the Olympics because of its propaganda potential. Not as enthusiastic as his minister, the Führer argued that in addition to projecting a modern image of his country, the event would be the most appropriate platform to demonstrate the superiority of the Aryan race through sport. They and other members of government took it for granted that German athletes dominated the sporting disciplines. But Jesse Owens ruined their party.

It is known that in the Olympic Games tradition, athletics is the most valuable treasure, with many disciplines of course. But runners are usually the stars. Owens was and there will be no system to stop him. After the feat in the competition, Hitler had to recognize his talent.

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Jesse Owens He said that minutes before he left, he finally happened to greet his box. And they welcomed Adolf Hitler, the leader of Germany that ended up invading half of Europe, declaring World War II and causing the Holocaust that would end with millions of Jewish men, women and children killed in captivity.

Historical photo of Hitler entering the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

Historical photo of Hitler entering the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

Although many Americans wanted to believe the myth that Hitler left the box and He never wanted to greet Jesse Owens in his four gold medals, This was claimed by German journalist Siegfried Michener in 2009 There was a photo in which the American athlete and the Fuhrer shook hands. In an article published in the Baltimore Sun in August 1936, it was revealed that Hitler had sent Owens a picture of himself devoted to the athlete.

Jesse Owens, recording man

One year before the games began, during the Big Ten College conference held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Jesse Owens starred in what is considered “the best 45 minutes in sporting history”. In less than an hour, He broke three world records and just another.

At the 100-yard dash, he ran in 9.4 seconds, equaling the world record. After that, he set a record in the long jump, 8.13 meters, which was in effect for 25 years. Finally, he managed to achieve 20.3 seconds in the 220 yard sprint, and 22.6 seconds in the 200 yard dash from low hurdles, the first time under 23 seconds.

So Jesse Owens, before his arrival, became the undisputed star of the Berlin Olympics.

But what he added to Berlin led him to become a legend. The third day of the games He won his first gold medal, stopping the watch at 10.3 seconds in a 100-meter dash. Fourth he won the long jump and on the fifth day he won the 200 m.

On August 9, he finally clinched another gold in the 4 × 100 relay, and not without controversy, he and Ralph Metcalf co-substituted Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, both Jews who were unable to compete.

Jesse Owens movie

Story of the Jesse Owens As stated in the cinema. “Giant of Speed”, another of his nicknames, is inspiring Element (Which means race and ethnicity in the English language) Canadian film With French, German and North American joint production, Which premiered in 2016. Low budget, the movie was called “Hero of Berlin” in Spain and “Triumph of the Spirit” in some Latin American countries.

The film, directed by Stephen Hopkins and written by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse, starred Stefan James, Jason Sudeikis, William Hurt, Jeremy Irons, Caris Van Houten, Amanda Crowe, and others. It is a typical biographical drama film that did not make the journey that was expected from such a story.

Race (or The Berlin Idol) was released in 2016.

Race (or The Berlin Idol) was released in 2016.

And that is that Jesse Owens’s life is part of the madness of the twentieth century far more deeply than his epic victory before the eyes of genocide, Adolf Hitler. After his great dedication in 1936, he had to return to the sad reality of the United States, where President Roosevelt did not bother inviting him to the typical salute at the White House (attended by other white athletes) and where the lions were. Men and women will be discriminated against for many years to come.

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The athletics federation in his country also withdrew from his character as an amateur to try to take advantage of his fame in obtaining sponsorship, which ended his career permanently. And many Americans wanted to hear a story that Hitler had risen before his chest so that they would not have to greet him upon his victory.

Owens has stated more than once that this myth was not true and that he had encountered Hitler, who received him naturally. Instead, he complained about it when he returned home “I couldn’t ride in the front of the bus on my land. I went back to the back door,” as happened in the United States with whites who do not accept blacks.

Owens honored by President Gerald Ford in 1976.

Owens honored by President Gerald Ford in 1976.

In the most important years of your life, Jesse Owens did not get the huge recognition he deserved from his country for his phenomenal athletic achievement. And he had to live even with risky jobs and went bankrupt.

Only in 1976 was he awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Gerald Ford, He wants to fix an unforgivable forgetfulness. Four years later, at the age of 66, Owens died of lung cancer, surrounded by his wife and family.

A few years later, the dormitory he stayed in during the Olympic Games was converted into a museum with photos of his achievements during the competition.

Amber Cross

"Music buff. Unapologetic problem solver. Organizer. Social media maven. Web nerd. Incurable reader."

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