2/3 BHM Profile: Jesse Owens

Godfred Nyafre, Reporter

Jesse Owens is a Hall of Fame Track and Field athlete who competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. As an African American athlete, Owens was determined and driven to succeed in the sport. He won four gold medals at the 1936 World Olympics. For 25 years, Owens held the record in the long jump with about 8.06 meters, which is 26 ft and 5 inches. All these accomplishments stood out and became one of the most iconic moments in Olympic game history. 

Owens was born in 1913 in Oakville, Alabama, and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. Growing up Owens did Track & Field in high school, which earned him a spot on the Ohio State University (OSU) Track and Field Team. He set multiple records while at OSU, earning him the nickname “The Buckeye Bullet.” 

After the Olympics, Owens became a worldwide hero but still faced discrimination and aggression.  Despite all these struggles, he remained one of the most inspirational and impactful figures in the sports world and a symbol of perseverance for a lot of people.  Owens passed away in 1980, but his name and legacy continue to motivate athletes and people all over the world.