My Greatest Olympic Prize by Jesse Owens
Think it out 1.
1. Why were nationalistic feelings … Hitler had whipped up extreme jingoism in Germany declaring that Germans, because of their Aryan lineage, were inherently superior to other races on earth. Such air of German supremacy pervaded the 1936 Olympics.
2. “I wasn’t too worried …Jesse Owens remained unruffled by the air of German supremacy that Hitler had preached so assiduously. Owen really didn’t care much about such propaganda.
3. Why wasn’t…. Owens had worked very hard for six years for the Olympics. His training had shown results at home. He knew athletic prowess gets glory, not superficial supremacy.
4. Why did every one … Owens had notched up a spectacular leap of 26 feet 8 ¼ inches in one of his college meets. This was a world record. Owens based his confidence on this performance.
5. What was the surprise … A hitherto German athlete named Luz Long appeared from nowhere and registered a jump of 26 feet in the Long Jump trials. Jesse Owens never knew there was one such competitor waiting to challenge him. This surprise Jesse Owens.
6. What did he learn from … Jesse got to know that Hitler had deliberately kept Luz Long away from limelight , so that his spectacular show would make other competitors like him nervous.
7. Do you think Nazi’s……Hitler’s assertion of German race’s superiority over others, particularly the blacks, was borne out of his wild xenophobic mindset. It was, clearly, hogwash and wicked. Owens knew the incipient hostility towards him for his black skin, but chose to ignore it altogether.
8. What made .. Jesse Owens resented Hitler’s claim of German race’s superiority. Instead of protesting against such highhandedness verbally, he chose to rebut it in the tracks using his power and skill. This was the best way to counter Hitler’s loathsome attitude to other races, particularly Negros.
Think it out 2 ..
1. What does a coach …. Coaches always ask their trainees to shun anger during competition, as such feelings undermine their performance.
2. What were the results .. Owens overshot the starting line by nearly seven inches in his first qualifying attempt. The second jump was also technically wrong. Owens stood there very worried, as he had just one more chance to go to the finals.
3. Why did Owens…. Jesse Owens had goofed up his first two trial jumps. He was tense, and very angry with himself. To vent his frustration, he kicked the pit.
4. Who offered Owens … Luz Long, who had surprised Owens with his impressive jump earlier, came up to Owens to shake hands with great warmth and empathy.
5. Why did Long speak to … Long understood the discomfiture of Owens. He wanted to calm Owens’s nerves, so that he takes his last qualifying chance successfully, and made it to the Finals. He appeared genuinely friendly to Jesse Owens.
6. He really looked the part’ ….. Here Jesse Owens refers to the tall and slim Luz Long was an ace long jumper and his body frame showed it.
7. How did Luz Long .. Long had seen how Owens had overshot his starting line in the earlier chances. He told Owens to draw a making line a few inches behind the actual starting line, so that even if he overshot the start, he would still be not committing an infringement. Being a powerful jumper, the loss of a few inches wouldn’t harm Owens in any way.
8. “Tomorrow is what ………. The final event was scheduled for the next day. Long told that the performance in the Finals is all that mattered. So, qualifying for it was essential for Owens. Both of them could compete then, and show off their best.
9. Did Owens .. Owens heeded Long’s advice to start a few inches behind the actual starting line to preclude any chance of disqualification for overshooting the mark. The plan worked and Owens regained his composure, and sailed into the Finals the next day.