American track and field athlete Jesse Owens took on Adolph Hitler’s superior Aryan athletes at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games winning four gold medals and Olympic immorality as well as the hearts and minds of world.
In 1933, shortly after assuming power as chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler moved forward with plans to turn the 1936 Summer and Winter Olympics into showcases for his regime.
The Games were designed to promote the party’s ideology as well as superiority of the Aryan Race.
1936 should have been a victory for Hitler’s Master Race but the wheels of the Nazi propaganda machine were blocked by an African-American athlete from Oakville, Alabama: Jesse Owens
Owens had emerged as a track and field sensation in the States, tying the world record in the 100-yard dash while still in high school, and establishing three world records and matched a fourth over a span of 45 minutes in 1935. This remains one of the most extraordinary accomplishments in collegiate sports history.
From almost the get-go, Owens seized the reins as the star of the 1936 Summer Olympics. He coasted to a gold medal in his first event, the 100-meter dash, and followed with a highly publicized victory over German champion Luz Long in the long jump.
After setting an Olympic record in the 200-meter dash en route to a third gold medal, Owens put the exclamation point on his showing by running the opening leg of a record-shattering U.S. 4×100 relay performance.
He became the first American of any race to win four gold medals in track and field in a single Olympics.
Owen’s triumphant over the Nazi’ at the Berlin Games endures.
With the eyes of the world upon him, he set the sage for future African-American sporting stars like baseball’s Jackie Robinson, and pushed the door open a little wider for the civil rights movement to eventually emerge.