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The 1930's
A Time to Shine - The 1936 Olympics



A Time to Shine - The 1936 Olympics
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.05

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    pacify, dictator, best, vans, sole, triumph, noteworthy, inferior, superiority, showcase, refused, ruler, anger, superior, furious, descent
     content words:    Adolf Hitler, Olympic Games, Ohio State, Jesse Owens, Big Ten Track, Field Championships, Olympic Trials, Lutz Lang, African Americans, African American


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A Time to Shine - The 1936 Olympics
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Germany had been named to host the 1936 Olympics years before the event was to occur. No one had any idea that Adolf Hitler would be in charge of the country. Hitler was the dictator, or sole ruler, of Germany when 1936 rolled around. He decided to use the Olympic Games as a showcase for his ideas of Aryan superiority.
 
2     Hitler believed that the Aryan race consisted of the blond, blue-eyed, strong people descended from Nordic or Scandinavian ancestors. Adolf Hitler believed that people of Aryan descent were superior to every other race found in the world. It was his goal to use the Aryans of Germany to eventually rule the world. He believed that his athletes would prove his beliefs by dominating the Olympic Games to be held in Berlin.
 
3     At the same time Hitler was planning his days of glory, a black American athlete was making a name for himself. In 1935, an Ohio State athlete named Jesse Owens was breaking records right and left at the Big Ten Track and Field Championships. Jesse broke or equaled world record marks for the 100 yard and 220 yard dashes, the 200 yard low hurdles, and the long jump. He also broke the world records for the 200 meter run and the 200 meter hurdles. He set six world records in a forty-five minute period of just one afternoon.

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