A reminder how Nazi Germany tried to use the 1936 Olympic Games for propaganda purposes. The Nazis promoted an image of a white race and wanted to showcase its superiority above all others. American Jesse Owens had other plans in mind.
Meanwhile, Jesse Owens had emerged as a track and field sensation in the States. He tied the world record in the 100-yard dash while still in high school, and his performance at the 1935 Big Ten Championships, in which he established three world records and matched a fourth over a span of 45 minutes, remains one of the most extraordinary accomplishments in collegiate sports history.
He wasn’t the only African American athlete making waves. Ralph Metcalfe was a silver medalist at the 1932 Olympics and at one point shared the world record in the 100-meter dash.
And a Temple University sprinter named Eulace Peacock emerged as a highly formidable opponent to Owens, even beating him multiple times in head-to-head competition in 1935, before suffering a hamstring injury that squashed his 1936 Olympic hopes.