Jesse Owens, a trailblazing athlete, forever altered the course of history with his remarkable achievements on the track. Competing in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Owens not only won four gold medals in track and field events but also shattered Adolf Hitler's notion of Aryan supremacy, showcasing the power of talent and determination irrespective of race. His victories became a symbol of resilience and courage, particularly during a time of rampant racial discrimination. Beyond his athletic prowess, Owens' legacy extends to his role as a catalyst for change, paving the way for future generations of Black athletes and influencing the ongoing struggle for civil rights. His legacy continues to inspire athletes worldwide, reminding us that the power of sport goes beyond physical feats, carrying the potential to challenge prejudice and injustice.
Jesse Owens Quotes
We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.
In the end, it's extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more that that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don't win, how can you lose?
Find the good. It's all around you. Find it, showcase it and you'll start believing in it.
There is something that can happen to every athlete and every human being; the instinct to slack off, to give in to pain, to give less than your best; the instinct to hope you can win through luck or through your opponent not doing his best, instead of going to the limit and past your limit where victory is always found. Defeating those negative instincts that are out to defeat us, is the difference between winning and losing - and we all face that battle every day.
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.
Although I wasn't invited to shake hands with Hitler, I wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President either.
The only victory that counts is the one over yourself.
Championships are mythical. The real champions are those who live through what they are taught in their homes and churches. The attitude that 'We've got to win' in sports must be changed. Teach your youngsters, who are the future hope of America, the importance of love, respect, dedication, determination, self-sacrifice, self-discipline and good attitude. That's the road up the ladder to the championships.
Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.
People say that it was degrading for an Olympic champion to run against a horse, but what was I supposed to do? I had four gold medals, but you can't eat four gold medals. There was no television, no big advertising, no endorsements then. Not for a black man, anyway.
One chance is all you need.
After I came home from the 1936 Olympics with my four medals, it became increasingly apparent that everyone was going to slap me on the back, want to shake my hand or have me up to their suite. But no one was going to offer me a job.
A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.
I wanted no part of politics. And I wasn't in Berlin to compete against any one athlete. The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. As I'd learned long ago from Charles Riley, the only victory that counts is the one over yourself.
Running is real. It’s all joy and woe, hard as diamond. It makes you weary beyond comprehension, but it also makes you free.
We must respect the rights and properties of our fellowman. And then learn to play the game of life, as well as the game of athletics, according to the rules of society. If you can take that and put it into practice in the community in which you live, then, to me you have won the greatest championship.
Hitler didn't snub me - it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn't even send me a telegram.
One day or another every athlete feels like taking it easy. He stops trying to exceed his limits, and thinks he can keep winning because of his lucky star, or the bad luck of his opponents. You must overcome this negative instinct, which affects all of us, and which is the only difference between the person who wins a race, and those who lose. This is the battle you have to fight every day of your life.
The black fist is a meaningless symbol. When you open it, you have nothing but fingers - weak, empty fingers. The only time the black fist has significance is when there's money inside. There's where the power lies.
If you don't try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody's back yard.
I always loved running. It was something you could do by yourself and under your own power.
The lives of most men are patchwork quilts. Or at best one matching outfit with a closet and laundry bag full of incongruous accumulations. A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.
"She (Minnie Ruth Solomon) 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."
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.
I realized now that militancy in the best sense of the word was the only answer where the black man was concerned, that any black man who wasn't a militant in 1970 was either blind or a coward.
Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.
The only bond worth anything between human beings is their humanness.
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.
I let my feet spend as little time on the ground as possible. From the air, fast down, and from the ground, fast up.
People come out to see you perform and you've got to give them the best you have within you.
It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it's close
If you don't try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody's back yard. The thrill of competing carries with it the thrill of a gold medal. One wants to win to prove himself the best.
I decided I wasn't going to come down. I was going to fly. I was going to stay up in the air forever.
Joe Louis and I were the first modern national sports figures who were black... But neither of us could do national advertising because the South wouldn't buy it. That was the social stigma we lived under.
In the space of less than seven days, I attended a track meet in Boston, flew from there to Bowling Green for the National Jaycees, then to Rochester for the blind, Buffalo for another track meet, New York to shoot a film called The Black Athlete, Miami for Ford Motor Company, back up to New York for 45 minutes to deliver a speech, then into L. A. for another the same night.
He was constantly on me about the job that I was to do and the responsibility that I had upon the campus. And how I must be able to carry myself because people were looking.
It dawned on me with blinding brightness. I realized: I had jumped into another rare kind of stratosphere - one that only a handful of people in every generation are lucky enough to know.
I had four gold medals, but you can't eat four gold medals.
For a time, at least, I was the most famous person in the entire world.
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.
We used to have a lot of fun. We never had any problems. We always ate. The fact that we didn't have steak? Who had steak?
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.
Life doesn't give you all the practice races you need.
― Jesse Owens Quotes
Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.