On TV and in the media, who is the greatest Olympian has become a “hot topic”. Michael Phelps, retired Saturday with a record 22 Olympic medals, is widely recognized as the most decorated Olympian of all time. To some people, and to me, “greatest Olympian” is much more than simply quantitative (the number of medals), and is quite subjective. So to me, Luz Long is the “greatest Olympian”. And you may have your “greatest Olympian” for your own reasons. Please feel free to share your “greatest Olympian” in the comment section.
Long was the 1936 German broad jump silver medalist (the event where the inspiring Jesse Owens won gold). To me, “the hug, the camaraderie, the friendship of those two men [Long & Owens] at that time in history” has transcended the sport. The act of a simple hug & friendship in a nation under the storm of hatred ruled by, and right in front of, Adolf Hitler was an extraordinary act that can serve to remind us that one man (or one woman) can and do make a difference and can leave an impression.
This NPR story (with audio) contains some very interesting research insight, “Was Jesse Owens’ 1936 Long-Jump Story A Myth?”
[HT Mr. Lee for writing about Long in his Chinese column.]