Jesse Owens's Contribution Of African Americans To Compete In The Olympics

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Imagine being a African American man while trying to compete in the Olympics in Nazi Germany this is just what Jesse Owens went through. The person I chose to do my essay on is James Cleveland Ownes also know as Jesse Owens. I chose Jesse Owens because I knew a little about Jesse but I was never sure what he really was famous for. I thought that he was the first African American to compete in the Olympics but I was wrong. This essay will talk about how Jesse set three world records, tied a fourth and two Olympic records.
Jesse was born on September 12, 1913. He was born in Oakville, Alabama. “Jesse was born as James Cleveland Owens but when his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio his new school teacher asked what his name was to enter it in her roll book, she was told J.C but thought he said Jesse. The name stuck and he would be know as Jesse Owens for the rest of his life.” (Jesse) “His promising athletic career began in 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio where he set Junior High School records by clearing 6 feet in the high jump, and leaping 22 feet 11 ¾ inches in the broad jump.” (welcome) Later in his life he attended Ohio State University even though OSU
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He won four gold medals “Which made him the best remembered athlete in Olympic history.” (welcome) “Jesse had the confidence that would help he compete in the Olympics held in Nazi Germany amidst the belief by Hitler that the Games would support his belief that the German ‘Aryan’ people were the dominant race. Jesse had different plans, as he became the first American track and field athlete to win four gold medals in a single Olympiad.” (welcome) No one matched this great feat till 1984 when American Carl Lewis did. Jesse Owens died from complications due to lung cancer on March 31, 1980 in Tucson, Arizona. “Four years before he died Jesse was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award bestowed upon a civilian, by Gerald R. Ford.”

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