1936 olympics

People today don’t even know who Jesse Owens was. They don’t have no idea what happened in 1936 [at the Olympics in Berlin]. That’s what’s scary, because our history is being lost. The world should recognize how Owens transcended race. His life was so remarkable. And he came up during the time of no drugs, no steroids, none of that, yet his record [winning four gold medals in track and field in a single Olympics] stood all the way till Carl Lewis [who matched the performance at the 1984 Games]. He really put the U.S. in the forefront of the world for taking down the German empire. It’s funny, because when he got back to the United States after winning those four gold medals, there was a ticker-tape parade to the Waldorf-Astoria—and would you believe, they wouldn’t let him in the front door? He had to go in the service elevator. It’s very epic, very beautiful to play him and introduce him to a new generation.

Anthony Mackie, in an interview with Interview Magazine

The rest of the interview focuses more on Mackie’s role as Tupac Shakur in the upcoming Notorious, but his comments on Jesse Owens are spot-on. You can learn more about Owens and why he’s so important at the website run by the Jesse Owens Trust.


Fackelträgersäule (the Olympic Torchbearer column) by Hermann Scheuernstuhl, in the Maschsee. Poised on a sphere, the figure maintains the N.S. salute whilst holding the Olympic flame carried to the Games, from Olympia, for the first time in 1936. At the bottom of the column you can see the Reichsadler (without the Swastika) and an inscription that dedicates the lake resort to the leisure and recreation of the German worker:

Wille zum Aufbau
gab werkfrohen Händen
den Segen der Arbeit.
Freude, Gesundheit und Kraft
spende fortan euch der See

– Maschsee, Hannover. Juni 2014.

It takes energy to get angry. It eats you up inside. I can’t waste my energy like that and expect to get ahead. When they left, it took everything I had in me just to survive. Now I have to stay focused. I’ve just gotta take care of it myself

Spectators in the Olympiastadion during the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. By Heinrich Hoffmann.


an epic photo of the 1936 Olympics - and undeniably one of the greatest American moments in Olympic history (as according to Buzzfeed) “With the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, Hitler hoped that Aryan supremacy would be on display for the world to see. Jesse Owens had other plans. Owens won four gold medals at the ‘36 games and returned to America a national hero."