Jesse Owens is the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of a slave, and was able to achieve what no Olympian before him was able to achieve. Owens was able to obtain four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, earning the tittle of the “Best Remembered Athlete in Olympic History.”
Owens’ talented career began in junior high school, where he set the record for the high jump, by clearing 6 feet. He was also able to set the record in broad jump by leaping 22 feet 11 3/4 inches. In addition, Owens was able to accomplish wins in all major competitions he entered including three state championships in the state of Ohio.
After Owens graduated high school he was recruited by close to a dozen colligate universities, but decided to attend The Ohio State University, even though they could not offer him a scholarship in track & field. During his time at Ohio State University, Owens worked variety of different jobs to help support himself and young wife, In addition, to attending practice and setting records in all of his collegiate events.
Owens gave the world a preview of what was yet to come at the Berlin games. During his competition on May 25, 1935 while at the Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Owens set three worlds and tied a fourth in less than an hour. He was not a hundred percent healthy during all these events, as he was nursing a sore back, due to falling down a flight of stairs. He was able to convince his coach to allow him to participate in all of these events that he set records in and tied in the fourth and final event.
This would later give Owens the confidence needed to compete at the highest level in the sport of track & field. In 1936, Jesse entered the Olympics, which was held by Nazi Germany. During this time Hitler believed that German “Aryan” was the most dominate human beings in the world. But Owens had other ideas. He was the first American born athlete to win four gold medals in Olympic completion of track & field. This particular feat went unmatched for 48 years until Carl Lewis matched and exceeded his medal accomplishment in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angles, California.
We all that being said the movie entitled Race is a true story about the legendary Olympic champion, Jesse Owens, starring Stephan James. The movie is in theaters everywhere Febuary 19th.