When asked to name our favorite Olympic moment, the choice wasn't particularly daunting. Going into the 2012 games in London, England, Ohio State will be represented by Katie Bell (USA - diving), Samantha Cheverton (Canada - siwmming), Roger Espinoza (Honduras - men's soccer), Amanda Furrer (USA - rifle), George Markovic (Serbia - swimming), Mona Shaito (Lebanon - fencing), Zain Shaito (Lebanon - fencing), Margot Shumway (USA - rowing), and Margarita Tschomakova (Bugaria - fencing).
But before any of them could get where they're going in but a few short weeks, first, there was Jesse Owens.
After thoroughly dominating NCAA competition to the tune of four gold medals (and setting and equaling multiple world records in the process), Owens would go to Berlin for the 1936 Olympiad in what was to be a showcase event for Nazi Germany.
With propaganda abound demoting those of African origin to subhuman status, Owens shocked the world winning four gold medals. Owens' performance wouldn't be equaled until Carl Lewis won four in the same events in 1982. With Adolf Hitler notoriously refused to shake any gold medal winners' hands because it would mean he'd have to acknowledge Owens, the Ohio State Buckeye legend's triumphs became equal part achievement and declaration. His accomplishments would ultimately serve as a precursor to the civil rights movement and still echo to this very day.
Watch Jesse Owens on PBS. See more from American Experience.
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