Friday, August 3, 2012

Olympic History: Luz and Jesse

I've gotten into listening to podcasts the last few months, and I love listening to Sarah and Deblina, the ladies from the podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class from the Stuff You Should Know folks (thanks, Mom K for introducing me to them!).

The Track and Field events are starting up today at the London Olympics, and I wanted to share this awesome track and field story that Deblina and Sarah talked about on their podcast yesterday.

The story is about Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany. These games were also called the Nazi Olympics because of the show that the Nazis put on for the world, despite all the controversy with Hitler and his pro-Aryan philosophies.

During this podcast, Sarah and Deblina talked about Jesse Owens, a young black track star from Ohio, and the unlikely friendship between him and Carl "Luz" Long from Germany. After Jesse had failed to qualify for the finals with his first two attempts in the long jump, Luz gave him a tip as a gesture of goodwill and sportsmanship and suggested he start his launch a few inches behind the take-off board. Jesse takes his advice and qualifies for the finals with his third jump and goes on to win the gold medal, beating out Luz.

Carl "Luz" Long and Jesse Owens

However, Luz was the first to congratulate Jesse and they even did a victory lap together, much to Hitler's dismay.

Jesse said of that bond,
"You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the twenty-four karat friendship that I felt for Luz Long at that moment".
Wow! I love a good sports story!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy all the Track and Field events as much as I will this weekend!


  1. Oh thank you for sharing, that is so inspiring! I love the Olympics and the Olympians. They are just awesome!

  2. what a great story thanks for sharing.


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