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Jesse Owens 1936 Olympics This is an IOC profile of Jesse Owens, the famed American athlete, who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. I've always loved the story about how Luz Long helped Owens qualify for the long jump finals.
Tags: Jesse  Owens  Luz  Long  Olympics 
Added: 16th August 2008
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Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Naomi on 2008-08-17 
I know we've covered this subject before, but everytime I see a clip of Jesse Owens I can't help but remember the following:

On reports that Hitler had deliberately avoided acknowledging his victories, and had refused to shake his hand, Owens recounted:
'When I passed the Chancellor he arose, waved his hand at me, and I waved back at him. I think the writers showed bad taste in criticizing the man of the hour in Germany. Hitler didn't snub me, it was FDR who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram.

Jesse Owens was never invited to the White House nor bestowed any honors by Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt or Harry S. Truman during their terms. In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower acknowledged Owens' accomplishments, naming him an Ambassador of Sports.

Owens was cheered enthusiastically by 110,000 people in Berlin's Olympic Stadium and later ordinary Germans sought his autograph when they saw him in the streets. Owens was allowed to travel with and stay in the same hotels as whites, an irony at the time given that blacks in the United States were denied equal rights. After a New York ticker-tape parade in his honor, Owens had to ride the freight elevator to attend his own reception at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2008-08-17 
There are a lot of misconceptions about the supposed snub of Owens by Adolf Hitler. Hitler hadn't congratulated any non-German winners, so Owens was no exception. The IOC told Hitler if he wanted to interrupt the proceedings by congratulating the gold-medal winners, he couldn't play favorites and had to congratulate them all. Hitler chose not to congratulate any. He did, however, privately congratulate all the German medallists. Germany won the most medals in 1936.

After Owens was honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia noted that the German newspapers had referred to the black American athletes as 'auxiliaries.' LaGuardia indignantly proclaimed that there were no auxiliaries in America--which was a laughable statement in 1936.

Luz Long was killed fighting in Sicily during the Second World War. After the war Long's widow frequently corresponded with Jesse Owens until Owens' death. She told Owens she was the proudest woman in Germany when her husband helped Jesse make the long jump finals.
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