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我最珍贵的奥林匹克奖 返回上页

My Greatest Olympic Prize
我最珍贵的奥林匹克奖



[1]It was the summer of 1936. The Olympic Games were being held in Berlin. Because Adolf Hitler childishly insisted that his performers were members of a "master race," nationalistic feelings were at an all-time high.

[2] I wasn't too worried about all this. I'd trained, sweated and disciplined myself for six years, with the Games in mind. While I was going over on the boat, all I could think about was taking home one or two of those gold medals. I had my eyes especially on the running broad jump. A year before, as a sophomore at the Ohio State, I'd set the world's record of 26 feet 8 1/4 inches. Nearly everyone expected me to win this event.

[3] I was in for a surprise. When the time came for the broad-jump trials, I was startled to see a tall boy hitting the pit at almost 26 feet on his practice leaps! He turned out to be a German named Luz Long. I was told that Hitler hoped to win the jump with him.

[4] I guessed that if Long won, it would add some new support to the Nazis' "master race" (Aryansuperiority) theory. After all, I am a Negro. Angry about Hitler's ways, I determined to go out there and really show Der Fuhrer and his master race who was superior and who wasn't.

[5] An angry athlete is an athlete who will make mistakes, as any coach will tell you. I was no exception. On the first of my three qualifying jumps, I leaped from several inches beyond the takeoff board for a foul. On the second jump, I fouled even worse. "Did I come 3,000 miles for this?" I thought bitterly. "To foul out of the trials and make a fool of myself?"

[6] Walking a few yards from the pit, I kicked disgustedly at the dirt. Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned to look into the friendly blue eyes of the tall German broad jumper. He had easily qualified for the finals on his first attempt. He offered me a firm handshake.

[7] "Jesse Owens, I'm Luz Long. I don't think we've met." He spoke English well, though with a German twist to it.

"Glad to meet you," I said. Then, trying to hide my nervousness, I added, "How are you?"

"I'm fine. The question is: How are you?"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Something must be eating you," he said--proud the way foreigners are when they've mastered a bit of American slang. "You should be able to qualify with your eyes closed."

"Believe me, I know it," I told him--and it felt good to say that to someone.

 

 


1936年夏天。奥林匹克运动会在柏林举行。由于阿道夫·希特勒幼稚地坚持他的选手是“优等民族”的成员,民族主义情绪空前高涨。

我对这一切并不太担心。六年来,我心里想着这次奥运会,一直在坚持刻苦训练,从严要求自己。我乘船来时,就一心想带一两块金牌回家。我特别想在急行跳远项目上夺取金牌。一年前,我在俄亥俄州上大学二年级时,就创下了26英尺81/4英寸的世界纪录。几乎所有的人都认为我会赢得这项赛事。

然而,事情出乎我的意料。到了急行跳远预选赛时,我吃惊地看见一个高个儿小伙子试跳时就落在了沙坑将近26英尺的地方!原来他是个德国人,名叫卢茨·隆格。有人告诉我,希特勒就希望靠他来获得跳远冠军。

我心想,如果隆格获胜,那势必给纳粹的“优等民族“(雅利安人优异)论调增加新的佐证。毕竟,我是个黑人。我很气个过希特勒的那一套,决心显一显身手,着实让“元首大人”和他的优等民族看看谁优谁劣。

任何一个教练员都会对你说.运动员一生气就会犯错误。我也不例外。预赛三跳中的第一跳,我踏过起跳板几英寸犯了现。第二跳时,则犯规更严重。“难道我从3000英里外跑到这儿就为了这个结局?”我痛苦地想道,“为了在预赛里就犯规出局丢自己的丑吗?” 我从沙坑里走出几码远,气愤地踢着沙土。忽然,我感到有一只手搭在我的肩膀上。我转过脸去,瞧见了那个高个子德国跳远运动员一双友好的蓝眼睛。他头一跳就轻松地取得了决赛资格。他主动用力地握了握我的手。 “杰西·欧文斯,我叫卢茨·隆格。我想我们以前没见过面。”他英语说得不错,尽管带一点德国味儿。

“认识你很高兴,”我说。随后,我竭力想掩饰自已的不安,便又说道:“你怎么样?”

“我很好。问题是:你怎么样?”

“你的意思是?”我问道。

“一定有什么困扰着你,”他说——显得很得意,外国人掌握了一点美国俚语都会这样。“你就是闭着眼睛也能进入决赛。” “相信我,这我知道,”我对他说--能跟别人说这话,心里觉得好受些。