preview

Biography Of Jesse Owens

Satisfactory Essays
Jesse Owens was an African-American born on September 12, 1914 in Oakville, Alabama. Jesse was the grandson of slaves and the son of sharecroppers. As a boy, Jesse loved to run; even when he didn’t’ have any chores to do at home, he just would run for the fun of it until his lungs could no longer carry him. Jesse and his family were farmers in Alabama and were very poor. They attended a Baptist church regularly on Sundays. Eventually, Jesse’s family moved to Cleveland.
While Jesse was in elementary school, Charles Riley, a track field coach, noticed how fast he ran and high he jumped and offered to coach him. He wanted to meet young Jesse so he would be able to mold him into a good high school track and field and even an Olympic athlete. This coach recommended Jesse to do more running than what he was doing in gym class. He also suggested to run 90 minutes a day after school, but Jesse could not run after school because he was busy working in the fields. So, instead of running after school every day, he decided to run before school. During practice, Coach Riley, would critique Jesse’s run for him to improve his form, keeping his knees and head high and his back straight. Jesse was not used to a white-American coach working with him to achieve a goal. Coach Riley would push him and this would empower Jesse to do his best.
When Jesse was 15 years old, in a friendly 100m run competition, Coach Riley timed his running at 11 seconds. Coach Riley was so impressed because he had never seen a 15 year old run 100m in that time. One day, Riley picked up Jesse and took him to go watch thoroughbreds race. Riley thought the horses were the purest of runners, not like humans which were burdened by human flaws such us egotism and vanity. Ri...

... middle of paper ...

...se to put a mark behind the board to aim for so when he jumped he wouldn’t foul. He tried what Long had suggested and he didn’t foul and got 26ft. 0 in smashing the record. On the final jump Long had faulted and just like that Jesse won the broad jump. In his last jump Jesse smashed the record again getting 26ft, 5.5 in.
Even though Jesse Owens came from a poor family he still had inside of him perseverance, zeal, and courage to be the best Olympic athlete he could be. His legacy has carried on inspiring a whole new generation of track and field athletes. In fact, he was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Gerald Ford in 1976. Discrimination in his own country and in Germany didn’t stop him or discourage him from doing his best.
Get Access