OLYMPIC GAMES 1936: Owens tells about the golden moment of triumph

THE FLASH: JESSE OWENS – HIS MOUTH WAS DRY AS COTTON – BURNISHED THE FIELD IN THE 100 METRES FINAL. Below: JESSE OWENS – HE WAS COOL, CALM AND SLIGHTLY NERVOUS BEFORE A BIG RACE!

At the start of the 100 meters final, Jesse Owens was like some relaxed panther ready to burst out!

JESSE OWENS        Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

I remembered that moment nine years later when I stood at the starting line of the 100-meter race in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, waiting to run against the finest competitors that the world had to offer.

I looked down that field to the finish 109 yards and two feet away and the I began to think in terms of what it had taken for me to get there, the number of people who had counselled and coached me; and the people who believed in me- the community from which I had come and the school which I attended.

And as I looked down at the uniform of the country that I represented and realized that after all I was just a man like any other man, I felt suddenly as if my legs could not carry even the weight of my body.  My stomach said that it wasn’t there.

My mouth was dry as cotton; the palms of my hands wet with perspiration.

VICTORY OVATION

And as we stood there, unnoticed because a German boy had won an Olympic victory in another part of the stadium, and the crowd was giving him an ovation that was due an Olympic champion; this was the sight that I saw within that wonderfully arena. 

As my eyes wandered across the field, I noticed the green grass-the red track with the white line.

A hundred-and-odd thousand people crowded into the stands.  And as my eyes looked upward, I noticed the flags of every nation represented there at the Olympic Games underneath the German blue sky.

Now, my attention was diverted from that beautiful picture, because the whistle had been blown and we were to assemble around the starter to receive our final instructions for this historic event.

After our instructions had been given every man went to his mark and adjusted hands and feet. Every muscle in his body was strained.

RAN NECK AND NECK

And suddenly the gun went off.  The athletes ran neck and neck for some yards, but our Ralph Metcalfe of Marquette University led the field at the fifty yard mark.

From then, the seventy to the ninety, Ralph and I ran neck and neck. And then for some unknown reason I cannot yet fathom, I beat Ralph, who was such a magnificent runner.

The greatest moment of all, of course, was when we knelt and received the Wreath of Victory and standing there facing the stands we could hear the strains of the “Star Spangled Banner” rise into the air and the Stars and Stripes was hoisted to the skies.

It was then that I realized the immensity of my ambition of nine years to become a member of Uncle Sam’s Olympic Team and to emerge as a victor in the Olympic Games.

Yes, this was the moment I had worked for all those years.

And let me say that as you stand there and watch your flag rise above all others because of your own efforts and you can say to yourself today, “I am an Olympic champion,” there cannot be a greater thrill.

<< Grand Years, 2008.


Natural Born Columnist: Writing can be a daunting task!

WHAT MORE IS THERE TO SAY: COLLEAGUE MATT WHITE’S COLUMN IN THE AUSTRALIAN SAYS IT ALL: “REGULAR BY-LINES IN THE DAILY PRESS WERE RESERVED FOR THE GIANTS OF JOURNALISM. JIM MACDOUGALL WAS SUPREME.”

FRANK MORRIS

MacDougall’s column was lauded a “hallmark” in Australian journalism

Jim Macdougall and Eric Kennedy were fervent mates. They were old colleagues. Macdougall wrote in his Daily Mirror column: “In a savagely completive world of newspapers, Eric Kennedy has too much humanity, too much kindness.”

The columnist who thrived on people as well as humour was the redoubtable Jim Macdougall. Jim seemed to be forever part of the Sydney landscape. The name Jim Macdougall was as well-known as any landmark in Sydney!
His long career began as a cadet reporter on the Melbourne Herald in 1924.  After a while he was sent to the paper’s London bureau.

When he returned to Australia, he was assigned to write a front-page column for The Sun, which was lauded as a “hallmark” in Australian journalism. Over the next four decades his column moved to the Daily Telegraph, and later, the Daily Mirror.

Macdougall died on his 92nd birthday in 1995.

SUPREME COLUMNIST

Colleague Matt White’s tribute in The Australian says it all. “In an age where the word columnist conjured up all the glamour of newspaper reporting, and when regular by-lines in the daily press were reserved for the giants of journalism, Jim Macdougall, columnist, was supreme.”

White describes Macdougall’s column as a “mixture of humour, humanity and some incredible predictions.” In 42 years at the job, Macdougall turned out more than 10,000 columns, many of which broke important news in a couple of paragraphs long before the stories became front-page headlines.

When Macdougall departed the Daily Mirror in 1975, it was the end of an era. His column had appeared every day for 14 years.

A few years later, he wrote: “It’s not until evening does one realise how splendid a day has been. As I look back, it has indeed been a splendid day.”

<< Grand Years, 2013.

TOMORROW: The third episode.


LET’S LAUGH!  A chuckle now and then will do you good!

Chuckle 1

“My wife was telling me you bought a car cheap the other day,” said Mr Brown. “How are you getting on with it?”

“Not at all,” said Mr Smith. “I’m just beginning to realise how hard it is to drive a bargain!”

Chuckle 2

“It was mighty nice of you to give up your seat to that robust lady,” Mr Binks. “It’s pleasant to see that there are still some polite men left in the world.”

“Sorry, Mrs Jabbers, but it wasn’t politeness at all. The man who sat next to me was quarrelsome because he said I crowded him too much, and all I did was use that robust lady as a sort of courteous retort.”

Chuckle 3

Flashback: In 1984, actor Britt Ekland, now pushing 41, revealed at her press conference, “I’ve never been with a man older that I am now.” When asked her opinion of Australian men, Britt replied: “They are the nicest, funniest men I know. They are very open and they treat me like gold.” – FM.


MAGIC FOR YOU! THE COIN TRICK -- ESPECIALLY FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART!

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 19 January 18

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