One of the most well known and outstanding athletes in the history of sports, Owens was born in September 1913, in Danville, USA. When he was nine years old, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where his name was changed from ‘James’ to ‘Jesse’.

He began his career as an athlete at the tender age of thirteen, when he ran his first track and field race.

By the time he was in high school, he was already a national level sprinter. He then went to the Ohio State University. One day Jesse slipped and fell down a flight of stairs, injuring his back. He was laid up in bed for an entire week.

In the Big Ten track meet, Jesse did not withdraw; rather, on the afternoon of May 25, 1935, he participated in the meet. He even set the world record for the 100-yard dash and broke a twenty-five year old world record for the broad jump.

He also set a new record for the 220-yard dash and the 200-metre dash. He broke the world record for both the 220-yard low hurdles and the 200-metre low hurdles.

The pinnacle of this career was the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. He set two Olympic records. He also led the USA relay team that won the 400-metre relay in 39.8 seconds, a new world record!

In spite of being a world-class athlete Jesse was a victim of racism.

After retiring from active sports, he settled down and opened a public relations firm. He died on March 31, 1980.

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