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History of Jesse Owens

Athletes and runners like Jesse Owens cannot be found around the corner and with just six years away to celebrate the first centenary of his birth; Jesse Owens history is still being written. An African American, who brought the United States four gold medals from the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, shortly after became a hero that people remember with affection. Born James Cleveland Owens, ironically he moved from his natal Oakville Alabama to Cleveland Ohio when he was only ten years.

Black Americans in Cleveland had less opportunities that those his parents believed, hence Jesse Owens history took a path that lead him to taking part-time jobs in his spare time after school. Jesse had a natural inclination for running since his early days at the family farm in Alabama. Once in Cleveland, he got marks and records in 100m, 220 yards, 220 yards hurdles, and the long jump while studying at junior high school. Coached by Charlie Riley, Jesse Owens continued an outstanding athletic activity.

Jesse Owens history during his college years was somewhat bitter having to face discrimination, lack of support, and a hard time studying and working to pay for school. However, the encouragement of Riley took Jesse Owens to accomplish his Olympic dream getting into the U.S. Olympic team. Owens surpassed all expectations after winning four gold medals in 100m, 200m, 4x100m, and the long jump, in the Summer Olympic Games held on Berlin during 1936, where he broke three Olympic records.

Returning to the United States was a sort of a discouraging experience for Jesse after the amazing response that people attending the Olympic Games demonstrated for him. In America, Jesse Owens history went back to hard times trying to make a living and taking all sorts of challenges to make money, including running against dogs, horses or motorcycles. Financial stability did not come into his life until the 1950’s after he opened a public relations company before returning to Olympics, but this time as a representative for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

In 1976, one of the latest pages in Jesse Owens history was written after President Gerald Ford awarded him with the greatest decoration any civilian can earn in the United States, the Freedom Medal. After this public recognition many other awards would come until today, the demonstration of gratitude to an American hero that has been awarded posthumously since Jesse Owens died at age 66 in Tucson, Arizona as a result lung cancer.