When Adolf Hitler declared that the white race should be supreme in the 1936 Olympic Games, it was feared that the German dictator would ignore the Worldâ€™s Fastest Human, Jesse Owens, if the American sprinter won his specialty.
Owens did win and Hitler did shake his hand.
After that, when Owens returned to the United States, there were no sponsors waving dollar bills at him.
At this yearâ€™s London Olympics, companies lined up to offer wads of money and long-term contracts to our stars.
How did Owens cope? Well, believe it or not, but he was reduced to trying to out-run Thoroughbred racehorses â€“ on racetracks!
Bolt Strong Enough
Usain Bolt, the fastest human, can name his price. It was reported that one company offered Bolt a long-term endorsement contract worthÂ $250,000 a year.
When I saw Bolt run and LeBron James burst toward a rebound, I wondered if both of them are in the wrong sport. Bolt is put together to withstand the violent hits in the NFL.
How do you think both would do as football ends (pass receivers)? Certainly no one in professional basketball could keep up with Bolt. Even NFL defensive backs wouldnâ€™t try all that hard to get in LeBronâ€™s route. Actually he played end in high school, but was smart enough to stick with basketball when he joined the NBA out of high school.
Were those really tears on the faces of LeBron and Kobe Bryant when the Gold Medals was placed around their necks? Yes, they were â€“ and they were genuine.
The scene reminded me one more time of what Ralph Beard said about his Gold Medal, won by UKâ€™s Fabulous Five in 1948, also in London.
â€œItâ€™s for our country,â€ which is exactly what LeBron and Kobe said.