Jesse Owens quotes

Born
September 12, 1913 Oakville, Alabama, U.S.

Died
March 31, 1980.

Occupation
Track and field athlete .

Jesse Owens was an American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1936 Games. Owens specialized in the sprints and the long jump.

One chance is all you need.
– Jesse Owens

I decided I wasn’t going to come down. I was going to fly. I was going to stay up in the air forever.
– Jesse Owens

For a time, at least, I was the most famous person in the entire world.
– Jesse Owens

We’d get into these little towns and tell ’em to get out the fastest guy in town and Jesse Owens would spot him ten yards and beat him.
– Jesse Owens

He was constantly on me about the job that I was to do and the responsibility that I had upon the campus. And how I must be able to carry myself because people were looking.
– Jesse Owens

I’d noticed him watching me for a year or so, especially when we’d play games where there was running or jumping.
– Jesse Owens

If you don’t try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody’s back yard. The thrill of competing carries with it the thrill of a gold medal. One wants to win to prove himself the best.
– Jesse Owens

It’s like having a pet dog for a long time. You get attached to it, and when it dies you miss it.
– Jesse Owens

We all have dreams. In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.
– Jesse Owens

I wanted no part of politics. And I wasn’t in Berlin to compete against any one athlete. The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. As I’d learned long ago from Charles Riley, the only victory that counts is the one over yourself.
– Jesse Owens

Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing it.
– Jesse Owens

I realized now that militancy in the best sense of the word was the only answer where the black man was concerned, that any black man who wasn’t a militant in 1970 was either blind or a coward.
– Jesse Owens

Every morning, just like in Alabama, I got up with the sun, ate my breakfast even before my mother and sisters and brothers, and went to school, winter, spring, and fall alike to run and jump and bend my body this way and that for Mr. Charles Riley.
– Jesse Owens

We used to have a lot of fun. We never had any problems. We always ate. The fact that we didn’t have steak? Who had steak?
– Jesse Owens
I always loved running – it was something you could do by yourself and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.
– Jesse Owens
In the space of less than seven days, I attended a track meet in Boston, flew from there to Bowling Green for the National Jaycees, then to Rochester for the blind, Buffalo for another track meet, New York to shoot a film called The Black Athlete, Miami for Ford Motor Company, back up to New York for 45 minutes to deliver a speech, then into L. A. for another the same night.
– Jesse Owens
I fought, I fought harder . . . but one cell at a time, panic crept into my body, taking me over.
– Jesse Owens
Friendships are born on the field of athletic strife and the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.
– Jesse Owens
It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it’s close.
– Jesse Owens
People come out to see you perform and you’ve got to give them the best you have within you. The lives of most men are patchwork quilts. Or at best one matching outfit with a closet and a laundry bag full of incongruous accumulations. A lifetime of training for just 10 seconds.
– Jesse Owens
It was bad enough to have toppled from the Olympic heights to make my living competing with animals. But the competition wasn’t even fair. No man could beat a race horse, not even for 100 yards.
– Jesse Owens