Jesse Owens’ Olympic medals to go under the hammer
Internet Desk: Jesse Owens, an athletic legend in the U.S wowed the world when he shattered Olympic records by winning four track and field gold medals in the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany.
Out of the four gold medals won by the Olympic great is scheduled to be auctioned.
Owens who stunned a watching Adolf Hitler, by winning the 100 meters, 200 meters , long jump and 4×100 relays was refused a handshake by the fascist leader who believed black men were inferior to white men.
Owens, a resident of Oakville passed away in 1980, has been reported to gifted one of the gold medals to his longtime friend and legendary tap dancer Bill Robinson a.k.a. “Bojangles”. The medal, which had been in the possession of Robinson’s widow, Elaine Plaines was sold at auction in 2013 for $1,466,574, a record sum for any Olympic memento.
It is reported that Owens had used his three Olympic gold medals as a method of payment for staying in a hotel at Pittsburgh in mid 1950s. The hotel had given those medals to a handyman as a repayment for borrowed money.
That handyman’s son, Albert DeVito, said his father kept two of the medals and returned one to the hotel owner. Its whereabouts however remain unknown.