COLUMBUS (WCMH) — On August 9th, 1936, Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens did the impossible: He won his fourth gold medal during the summer games in Hitler’s Germany.
Owens was only supposed to compete in three events, and he won gold in all three. First, he tied the world record in the 100 meters (10.3 seconds) before setting new world records in the 200 meters (20.7 seconds) and long jump (26 feet and 5 3/8 inches).
Owens coach then told him and his teammate Ralph Metcalfe they were going to run in the 4×100 relay instead of Marty Glickman and Sam Stoller, who were Jewish. Owens unsuccessfully tried to change his coach’s mind.
“Jesse was magnificent,” Glickman told the New York Times. “He said, ‘I’ve had enough. I won three gold medals. Let Sammy and Marty run.”
What happened next was history again. His relay team set yet another new world record of 39.8 seconds, a record which held for 20 years.
Owens retired shortly after the Berlin Olympics. He died in 1980.
The 10,000-seat Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Ohio State University opened in 2001 in honor of the late athlete.