Who Is Jesse Owens A Hero

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Jesse “J.C” Owens, the son of a sharecropper and grandson of a slave, is a renowned and popular historical figure. He is treated with awe for his physical accomplishments as a record-breaking Olympic champion, but he is also recognized for overcoming the humiliating and abusive treatment he encountered while working towards this goal. Owens was born on September 12, 1913 in Alabama, as the tenth and final child of Mary and Henry Owens. When he was young, Owens suffered from a severe lung disease, pneumonia (Israel 5), however he still managed to swim and fish, and develop a love for running (Israel 6). Owens did not officially attend elementary school, but he did attend Cleveland East Technical for his high school years where he met a coach…show more content…
He is widely considered the best athlete of his time. In 1928 he won gold medals for the 100 yard dash and 200 yard dash at the National Interscholastic Championship. Next, he won six gold medals in running, long-jumping, and hurdling (bio.com). In 1936, at the Olympics in Germany, he set three new world records in the long jump, 200 meter race, and 400 meter relay, and he tied for the 100 meter dash (Israel 2). In all, he took home four Olympic medals. After all of this happened, he managed the unthinkable when he obtained a Nazi salute from Hitler after proving him wrong (Israel 2). The same year he won The associated Press Athlete of the Year Award. Jesse had accomplished so much that many Ivy league schools desired his presence. On top of his 3 previous broken records, in 1937 he broke another five records and tieing a sixth one (bio.com). He did this all in a matter of 40 minutes (Israel 16). Then, in the long jump competition, he soared 26.8 feet and broke the record by half a foot (Israel 16). In 1974, Owens was inducted in the U.S.A. Track and Field Hall of Fame, and in 1976 he won the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1983, Owens was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Committee Hall of Fame (bio.com). Despite of all his setbacks and struggles, Owens athletic accomplishments were historic, and many decades after his gold medals he was finally officially recognized for…show more content…
He once said "I always loved running – it was something you could do by yourself and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs (jesseowens.com).” Fortunately, this little boy from the South who was restricted by his race, was able to convince himself of his own athletic talents, and use them to propel him to great heights. Unfortunately, despite all of his accomplishments, Owens was never given the recognition he deserved at the time. However, now he has taken his place in the history books and is touted as a role model for people of all

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