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Jesse Owens' Overcoming of Hurdles and Winning the Olympics in 1936

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Can you imagine embarrassing the infamous Adolf Hitler in front of the whole world? Jesse Owens did that in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It was not an easy road for him to get there, but he did it by putting enough effort and hard work forward. Jesse Owens was able to overcome racial judgment by surviving a poverty struck childhood, training hard in school, and by winning the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Jesse Owens' childhood was unparalleled to any other child's with how hard it was. His parents struggled to get everyone in his family fed since their family consisted of twelve people (“Jesse Owens”). Many of his siblings were too busy to help their parents because of school. Jesse Owens was still too young for school which led to Owens having to help his parents out by earning money and buying food. This was an enormous responsibility for such a young child, especially with that big of a family. What topped it all off was he was an African-American and in that time period, African-Americans were greatly judged. Owens was cheated out of many opportunities for being an African-American, but that didn't stop him as he still found ways to help his family out in any way he could. Owens was forced to become a man at a very young age and made him mature very fast.

Owens was even employed by the age of twelve to help his family out. He worked three different jobs. He ran an elevator, waited tables, and worked at a school library. Most people can not handle three jobs so it must have been insane for a twelve year old to do so(Owens and Neimark 13-14). He knew in the end it would all be for the better because his family would be able to eat (Owens and Neimark 20). He says the reason he was able to get some jobs was because he could run a...

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...n Olympics. He will forever be on of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen even with all the racism that stood in his way.

Works Cited

“Jesse Owens.” Notable Sports Figures. Ed. Dana R. Barnes, Detroit: Gale, 2004. Biography in context. Web. 21 March 2014.

Owens, Jesse, with Paul Neimark. Blackthink: “My Life as Black Man and White Man.” New York: William Morrow and Company, 1970. Print.

Reed, William F. “Owens, Jesse.” World Book Student. World Book, 2014. Web. 21 March 2014.

PR, Newswire. “Usain Bolt, Lebron James, Serena Williams, Michael Phelps, and Lionel Messi Amony Finalists For the Prestigious Jesse Owens International Athlete Trophy.” PR Newswire US. 29 Jan. 2014: McClatchy – Trubune Collection. Web. 30 March 2014.

Reed, William F. “Owens, Jesse.” World Book Student. World Book, 2014. Web. 21 March 2014.
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