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Jesse Owens

Geburtstag: 12. September 1913
Todesdatum: 31. März 1980
Andere Namen: Jesse James Cleveland Owens

James Cleveland „Jesse“ Owens war ein US-amerikanischer Leichtathlet. Seinen Übernamen „Jesse“ erhielt er von einer Lehrerin. Diese hatte seinen Akzent nicht verstanden, als er ihr sagte, dass man ihn J. C. nenne. Owens war das jüngste von zehn Kindern einer Farmpächter-Familie, die aus Alabama nach Ohio zog.

Zitate Jesse Owens

„Als ich am Kanzler vorbeikam, stand er auf, winkte mir zu und ich winkte zurück. Ich denke, die Journalisten zeigten schlechten Geschmack, als sie den Mann der Stunde in Deutschland kritisierten.“

—  Jesse Owens

über Adolf Hitler, The Jesse Owens Story, 1970
Original engl.: "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."

„It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler… You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the 24-karat friendship I felt for Lutz Long at that moment.“

—  Jesse Owens

On the congratulations given by German athlete Lutz Long, a competitor in the long jump, who in some accounts he credited with giving him some friendly advice that helped him to win against him; as quoted in "Owens pierced a myth" by Larry Schwartz http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00016393.html in ESPN SportsCentury (2005)
Kontext: It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler... You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the 24-karat friendship I felt for Lutz Long at that moment. Hitler must have gone crazy watching us embrace. The sad part of the story is I never saw Long again. He was killed in World War II.

„The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself — the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us — that's where it's at.“

—  Jesse Owens

As quoted in Blackthink: My Life as Black Man and White Man https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/0688011632 (1970)
1970s

„The road to the Olympics, leads to no city, no country. It goes far beyond New York or Moscow, ancient Greece or Nazi Germany. The road to the Olympics leads — in the end — to the best within us.“

—  Jesse Owens

As quoted in People In America : "Jesse Owens" by Barbara Dash http://web.archive.org/web/20071219045105/http://voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2002-06/a-2002-06-07-2-1.cfm on VOA (7 June 2002)

„She was unusual because even though I knew her family was as poor as ours, nothing she said or did seemed touched by that. Or by prejudice. Or by anything the world said or did. It was as if she had something inside her that somehow made all that not count.“

—  Jesse Owens

On his wife, Minnie Ruth Solomon
Jesse Owens, Champion Athlete (1990)
Kontext: She was unusual because even though I knew her family was as poor as ours, nothing she said or did seemed touched by that. Or by prejudice. Or by anything the world said or did. It was as if she had something inside her that somehow made all that not count. I fell in love with her some the first time we ever talked, and a little bit more every time after that until I thought I couldn't love her more than I did. And when I felt that way, I asked her to marry me … and she said she would.

„It was bad enough to have toppled from the Olympic heights to make my living competing with animals. But the competition wasn't even fair. No man could beat a race horse, not even for 100 yards.“

—  Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens, Champion Athlete (1990)
Kontext: It was bad enough to have toppled from the Olympic heights to make my living competing with animals. But the competition wasn't even fair. No man could beat a race horse, not even for 100 yards. … The secret is, first, get a thoroughbred horse because they are the most nervous animals on earth. Then get the biggest gun you can find and make sure the starter fires that big gun right by the nervous thoroughbred's ear.

„To a sprinter, the hundred-yard dash is over in three seconds, not nine or ten.“

—  Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens, Champion Athlete (1990)
Kontext: To a sprinter, the hundred-yard dash is over in three seconds, not nine or ten. The first "second" is when you come out of the blocks. The next is when you look up and take your first few strides to attain gain position. By that time the race is actually about half over. The final "second" — the longest slice of time in the world for an athlete — is that last half of the race, when you really bear down and see what you're made of. It seems to take an eternity, yet is all over before you can think what's happening.

„It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it's close.“

—  Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens, Champion Athlete (1990)

„I decided I wasn't going to come down. I was going to fly. I was going to stay up in the air forever.“

—  Jesse Owens

On his final record-breaking leap in the long-jump competition.
Jesse Owens, Champion Athlete (1990)

„It's like having a pet dog for a long time. You get attached to it, and when it dies you miss it.“

—  Jesse Owens

On having his world records beaten
Jesse Owens, Champion Athlete (1990)

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