Jesse Owens Changed History

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How much time does it take to change history? In the case of one man named Jesse Owens, it only takes 45 minutes to change history. Jesse Owens is an African American track star who ran for Ohio State University then later the U.S. Olympic Team. He had what’s considered the most impressive athletic achievement since 1850 where he broke 3 world records (in long jump, 200 yard sprint, and low hurdles) and tied the world record for 100 yard sprint in the Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan (Thomas 7). His most notable accolade was in the Berlin Olympics in 1936 where he won 4 gold medal for the U.S. Olympic Team in a single olympiad. Jesse Owens was revolutionary because he defied the stereotypes and racial barriers around African Americans…show more content…
“Owens won the hearts of his teammates but also the affection of the German crowd by winning gold medals in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter relay, and the long jump. This feat made him the first American in the annals of Olympic history to win four golds in one Olympiad” (Cousineau 2). Owens changed olympic history with this feat in a few days which had an everlasting impact on the Olympics and racial discrimination against African Americans. With Owens’ feats, other African American athletes were recognized worldwide as being no different from white athletes in the Olympics. Not only did Jesse Owens change Olympic history, he also defied Hitler and the Nazi Party. “He not only discredited Hitler’s master race theory, but also affirmed that individual excellence, rather than race or national origin, distinguishes one man from another” (“About Jesse Owens” 5). Beating the other Aryan runners in the Olympics proved to the world the the Aryan race was not physically superior over any race and disproved Hitler’s theory of Aryan supremacy. Owens also showed it is not the race that defines the person, but the person’s individual skills. It was not only his athletic accomplishments that changed the world, he became a role model as an African…show more content…
Over the course of 40 years, Owens helped young individuals across the world including many children in the Philippines. “Traveling to various areas of the Philippines, he worked with children showing them the proper mechanics of sprinting...he created a fundraiser to acquire the funds necessary to send the children running spikes. A few months later, every child he worked with in the Philippines had a pair of running spikes” (“How Jesse Owens Impacted The Nation” 11). This is one example of Owens’ generosity as he helped fund kids that were too poor to afford proper shoes and provided the funds to further their running skills. After the Olympics, Owens also served countless hours with young children in poor neighborhoods in America. “Owens served as the director of the Illinois Youth Commission in which he was able to work with children across Illinois...Owens used sport as a remedy to delinquency, and he sought to fix them by personally working with them” (“How Jesse Owens Impacted The Nation” 12). This is another example of Jesse Owens’ unparalleled dedication and ambitions toward juvenile delinquents by using sports to keep their minds focused and in the right

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