Berlin 1936: The Creation of the “Myth” Jesse Owens

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Abstract

Throughout the twentieth century, the sport has gained much importance in society and sparked interest from various sectors, including the political. Adolf Hitler used the XI 1936 Summer Olympic Games to show the world the strength of Nazi Germany and its rebirth after the defeat in World War I and the impositions of the Versailles Treaty. However, many of the facts historically reported on the 1936 Olympics are contested. The most famous and mythical case of these Olympic Games, and one of the most famous in the history of sport, relates to events that occurred between the American athlete Jesse Owens and the Nazi Führer. The aim of this work is to try to show, as faithfully as possible, as some important facts occurred during this event (the contest between Owens and Long in the long jump; if Hitler snubbed Owens; etc.) that helped create the “myth” around Owens; and to present reports of the global media coverage, analyzing the perpetuation of these mythical reports in current media. As methodology was conducted an ample bibliographical research: reports taken from newspapers of the time and current, books, scientific papers, master's thesis, documentaries, etc. Without claiming to prove a single fact, it is intended to provide insight to the reader to draw their own conclusions.

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