Study Guide

Olympics Books Triumph

By Various Authors


Not About Conan's Dog

When we picked this book off the shelves, we mistakenly thought we were going to read about Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. Serves us right for not paying attention. But our mistake was actually a blessing in disguise, because the untold story of Jesse Owens is an amazing read.

If you're not familiar with the name Jesse Owens, we'd like you to direct us to the rock you've been living under, because after his performance in the 1936 Olympics, he's rightfully pretty famous.

He's not only one of the best track athletes in the history of the United States, but he broke some amazing barriers in terms of race and prejudice in the face of extraordinary adversity. Because, come on…who's more racist than Hitler? (Don't actually answer that.)

In this book, Jeremy Schaap details the progression of Jesse Owens, the collegiate athlete who broke four world records in under an hour (100-yd dash, long jump, 220-yd dash, and 220-yd hurdles), to Jesse Owens: the man who raced in Hitler's Germany and won against the so-called Master Race.

Called "the Ebony Antelope", and described universally as "beautiful" to watch, he was known for his perfect form and his ability to win gracefully. He's definitely an athlete worth getting to know…and admire.