Today we are in Berlin to interview Mr Cleveland Owens ,  Jesse Owens, a black American athlete , a sporting legend: he demonstrated Hitler and the Nazis party that it was not true that white people were better than other races.

Journalist: Good morning, Mr James Owens, I know everyone calls you Jesse, can I call you that too?

James Owens: Good morning, yes of course, when I was younger, my playmates gave me this nickname, and since then everyone has called me Jesse.

Journalist: now I understand why everyone calls you Jesse… tell me a little about your life…, we all know that you are a champion Olympic sprinter athlete, how was this passion born?

James Owens: well, where I was born and grew up in Alabama in poverty; as a child I remember I didn’t have any  time to play because I had  to work in the fields and help my family : I got up early and went to work with my father when I was  5 and when we came back home, in the evening, I ate some  soup and I went straight to bed, dead tired.  Then we moved to Cleveland and I started going to school, where  my Physical education teacher made us train in running;  I discovered this passion for running : when I ran I was happy  because I forgot everything difficult in my life, and from then on every day I trained , I ran and ran until I was tired and then I came back  home in the evening.

Journalist: when did your career start?

James Owens: As soon as I was 16  I started competing in the long jump race and I won the first US championship there. I didn’t believe it,  I was so happy and thanks to that victory I entered the University of Ohio. Then I participated and won the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936.It was a good lesson for the Nazis.

 Journalist: here I wanted to ask you if it is true that you met Adolf Hitler in Berlin?

James Owens: Yes it’s true, and he greeted me and congratulated me .

Journalist: what did he do with his success?

James Owens: I helped my family to live better, then I also helped the children of a school in Alabama, I try to help people of the County where I was born, because it is  still very poor. Reporter: Do you have a girlfriend? A special friend?

James Owens: Yes, I’m dating someone special, and I have a friend, his name’s  Frank and he’s always present in my victories too.

Journalist: are you happy ?

James Owens: I am happy to have shown that a black guy can be an athlete, a sprinter in short, a champion even if he is not white, because we live in a world where there is a lot of wickedness and discrimination and I would like people to be sincere and honest!

Journalist: I know that now you want to be a politician to defend both weak people and sport.

 James Owens: yes , now I want to stop competing, I want to become a coach and  I want to make my voice heard in politics to help others and change some racial  problems.

Journalist: Thank you for answering my questions.  I wish you to change the world and make it better, you are so  brave, I am sure that you will succeed!

 James Owens: Thank you !I hope so!

Jesse Owen has become a sporting legend. A street near the Olympic stadium now has his name and every year the USA’s best athlete is given the Jesse Owen award.

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Rosario Marraro- Istituto comprensivo “O.G.De Cruyllas” Ramacca. Docente : Marilena Tamburino



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