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Jesse Owens By Bryce Purnell

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Dear Jesse Owens,

You had an amazing life and accomplished many things. You have inspired me to be not just a better sports player, but also a better person in general. I thank you for proving Hitler’s theory of Aryan superiority wrong. No race is better than another. It is still amazing in this day and age that you won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics.

You won in the 100-meter run, the 200-meter run, the long jump, and the 4×100 relay. You also won all those medals in front of Hitler, in Berlin. Not many modern day athletes could do that. You even got the German public to like you when their newspapers wrote bad things about you.

You persevered, even when you took a jump that you thought was a practice jump. You let one of the German jumpers help you, which says a lot about your character. You even made friends with him, too. You had a ton of records, even though all of them are broken today. Imagine what you could do with today’s equipment and our knowledge of training. You had to work a ton of jobs to stay an amateur athlete and be able to compete in the Olympics even when you could have appeared in advertisements and become rich.

After your Olympic triumph, you returned and worked with underprivileged youth. You have helped and inspired people through out your life. You still inspire people today! You even won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, proof of your accomplishments.

I thank you for all this. You proved that dreams can come true.

With great thanks,
Bryce Purnell

Sixth grader Bryce Purnell, Central Middle School, Anne Arundel County, is a football-lacrosse-basketball playing kid who loves all sports and history. He felt inspired by Jesse Owens and felt compelled to show his thanks.