Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Jesse Owens' Untold Story

One of the greatest olympic stories funnily enough ends in one of my picks for greatest photos. Here it be:

We've all heard the story of Jesse Owens running and beating everyone in his 100m race in the 1936 Olympics in front of the Third Reich, and of course, Hitler. What happened the next day is where the story really becomes one of the greatest examples of humanity and what it's capable of.

The following day came the long jump and Owens was unexpectedly in trouble. In the morning qualifying session he had two foul jumps, leaving him with one chance to record the necessary distance of 7.15m, usually comfortably within his range. Then Luz Long, Germany's great hope, the embodiment of the Aryan ideal and Owens's chief rival for gold, introduced himself to the American and recommended he set his runup marker back a foot or so in order to be sure of recording a legal jump. Owens did so and sailed into the final.
In the final Owens took an early lead with a jump of 7.74m but Long went ahead in the penultimate round, leaping out to 7.87m. Owens responded in sensational style with 7.94m in the fifth and 8.06m in the sixth and final round. Luz was the first to congratulate him and they took a lap of honour around the stadium together as the crowd rose to salute them both. "It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler," said Owens later. "You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the 24-carat friendship I felt for Luz Long at that moment."
I guess, in part, that photo is responsible for my love of photography.


  1. Mate, a great story and even better that you shared it - top notch - Simebo

  2. It's nice to see white men show true courage that saves more than one life but this is an embrace of a whole race and brotherly love. To appreciate this photo just think of time and place all I can say is wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow

  3. Jesse Owens has been a hero to a lot but Luz Long I never heard of why all I can say I why why why Im joking I know why good job Mr. Long good job


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