The Legacy of James Cleveland Owens: a Study on His Character Traits

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 620 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 8, 2024

Words: 620|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 8, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Resilience
  2. Determination
  3. Dedication to Equality
  4. Conclusion

James Cleveland Owens is often regarded as one of the most iconic figures in American sports history. Born on September 12, 1913, in Oakville, Alabama, Owens rose to fame as a record-breaking track and field athlete, winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. However, his success on the track alone does not define his legacy. Owens’ character traits, including his resilience, determination, and dedication to equality, have inspired generations of athletes and individuals around the world.

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Owens was raised in a large family of sharecroppers and faced significant challenges growing up. His family struggled to make ends meet, and Owens’ father left when he was just 9 years old. However, Owens did not let his circumstances hold him back. He worked tirelessly, often doing odd jobs for neighbors, in order to save enough money to attend college. Even as a young athlete, Owens demonstrated immense perseverance. He suffered from numerous illnesses, including pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, yet he continued to train and compete at a high level.

This resilience was exemplified during Owens’ performance at the 1936 Olympics. The Nazi propaganda machine, led by Adolf Hitler, had sought to use the games as a showcase for their ideology of Aryan superiority. Owens, a black athlete, showed the world that excellence knows no race. He won four gold medals, breaking records in the process, and transcended the political messaging of the time. His incredible performance inspired a generation of athletes and served as a powerful statement against racism and xenophobia.


Owens’ resilience was fueled by his unwavering determination. He once said, “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” Owens possessed all of these qualities in abundance.

He faced numerous obstacles in his path to athletic success. As a student at The Ohio State University, he dealt with discrimination and segregation. He was forced to live off-campus and eat his meals at a local black-owned restaurant, as he was not welcome in the university cafeteria. Despite these challenges, he remained fiercely committed to his goals. He spent countless hours training, honing his skills, and perfecting his technique.

Owens’ determination was exemplified by his preparation for the 1936 Olympics. With each training session, he pushed himself to new heights and worked to overcome any perceived weaknesses. As a result, he entered the games as a formidable competitor, poised to make history.

Dedication to Equality

Owens’ character was defined not only by his athletic achievements but also by his commitment to equality. He recognized the power of sports to transcend race, religion, and nationality, and he spoke out against discrimination and prejudice throughout his life.

After returning from the Berlin Olympics, Owens faced significant societal challenges, as segregation and discrimination remained rampant in the United States. He refused to participate in segregated exhibitions and spoke out against racial injustice. In 1955, Owens was appointed to the Illinois Athletic Commission, where he worked to ensure equal opportunity for athletes of all s.

Owens’ dedication to equality was also evident in his personal life. He raised his family in the Illinois suburbs, where he was one of the few black families in the area. Despite facing discrimination and isolation, he remained committed to creating a better future for his children and worked to create a welcoming and inclusive community.

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James Cleveland Owens’ character traits inspire individuals around the world to this day. His resilience, determination, and dedication to equality serve as a powerful example of what it means to overcome adversity and fight for what is right. Owens’ legacy extends beyond the track, and his story serves as a reminder that true greatness comes not from athletic achievement but from the character traits that underpin it.

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Dr. Oliver Johnson

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The Legacy of James Cleveland Owens: A Study on his Character Traits. (2024, March 07). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from
“The Legacy of James Cleveland Owens: A Study on his Character Traits.” GradesFixer, 07 Mar. 2024,
The Legacy of James Cleveland Owens: A Study on his Character Traits. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
The Legacy of James Cleveland Owens: A Study on his Character Traits [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 07 [cited 2024 Jul 18]. Available from:
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