jesse owen

3409 words 14 pages
Jesse Owens


American track and field athlete

Few athletes have transcended their sports to become a symbol of an era as did Jesse Owens. Enduring a childhood marked by grinding poverty in Alabama, Owens became a star athlete in high school after his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. His achievements earned Owens several lucrative offers to attend college as a track-and-field athlete, and he enrolled at Ohio State University in 1933. On May 25, 1935, Owens made national headlines for setting five world records and tying another record at the Big Ten Intercollegiate Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Although many historians consider Owens's performance that day the greatest achievement by any track-and-field athlete
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1968 Criticizes African-American athletes at Mexico City Olympic Games for giving "Black Power" salute on awards stand
1974 Induction into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame
1976 Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
1980 Dies in Tucson, Arizona on March 31
1983 Induction into the US Olympic Committee Hall of Fame

As an East Tech track-and-field sensation, Owens became a nationally renown athlete while still in his teens. Although he failed to make the national team in his tryout for the 1932 Olympic Games to be held in Los Angeles, his performance at the June 1933 National Interscholastic Championship, held in Chicago, was stunning. Winning the long jump, 220-yard dash, and 100-yard dash, Owens set and tied the world records in the latter two events. When he returned to Cleveland, the nineteen-year-old was honored with a parade. Several


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