1930s1980s1984 L A OlympicsABCFrank GiffordOlympicsOther SportsSpecialsTrack And Field

Olympics – 1984 Los Angeles – Profile Of Jesse Owens – 1936 Berlin Olympics


ABC’s Frank Gifford presents a wonderful piece in tribute to a truly spectacular athlete…..and even better person….Jesse Owens…..and since there have been many tributes to this American icon…..this one is just a little more special….cuz it’s from this lil ole Chiweenie sportsphile….which I am quite sure that I am the only one of my kind that has now paid tribute to the late, great Jesse Owens….however, I want to expand my tribute to the whole American Team that represented the USA at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.  I just can’t imagine what went through the minds of each and every athlete as they were on board the ship from the USA heading towards their ultimate destination….Berlin, Germany…..at a time just after the Germans had taken on the world in WWI….who had since the end of that war come under the rule of a Nazi dictator, Adolph Hitler….as his administration was hosting the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936….knowing full well that Hitler would use the world stage of the Olympic Games…to show the world the military power that he had amassed in three short years….which he would soon unleash on the whole of Europe.  

It is my opinion that the bravery and courage displayed by the whole 1936 USA Olympic Team with quiet dignity as they entered the stadiums of Berlin to compete…..representing a country that was considered an enemy just a few years back…..one who certainly would be considered enemy just a few years forward….so the powers that be in the Drittes Reich at the time of the Berlin Games….had to have the mindset that the USA was an enemy…..or at least there’s was a good chance they were going to be.  Therefore, when considering the place and political climate the USA athletes were heading towards….you just know there had to be some fears to suppress…..some concerns and some consternations to be hidden away in the closets of their minds….just to enter the stadium at the Opening Ceremony….much less compete on the fields of Olympic competition….and it all provided a perfect example of how sports can override politics.

All of this being considered…..now put yourself in the shoes of America’s black athletes heading toward Berlin….as they were coming from a “racists culture” that certainly did not give African-Americans the respect they deserved….and were going to arrive in a country that under it’s then current regime….were governed by an attitude of white supremacy and “Deutsches Uber Alles”.  That is why I state that the black American athletes on the 1936 US Olympic Team…..all displayed the highest level of courage and dignity….while quietly holding inward the burning fires of competitive spirit….folks like Archie Williams, John Woodriff, Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalfe, Betty Robinson, James LuVelle, Mack Robinson, et al.

Then\ entire 1936 US Olympic Team displayed awesome courage and strength while competing in the heart of the Third Reich at the 1936 Berlin Olympics….and they deserve this tribute….along with Jesse Owens….of whom this video is all about…..as heard from the one person who knew him best….his wife.

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