Who is Luz Long in “My Greatest Olympic Prize” by Jesse Owens?
Luz Long was a German athlete who was there to compete against Jesse Owens in the Board Jump event in 1936 Berlin Olympics. Adolf Hitler hoped to win the jump with Luz and kept him under wraps.
Luz was a tall man and very friendly. Though he was schooled in the Nazi youth movement, he didn’t believe much in Hitler’s Aryan-supremacy theory. Rather he supported Jesse a big way in winning the gold medals in the Berlin Olympics and became his life-long friend. Luz Long was an embodiment of the sportsman spirit that the Olympics demands. He was genuinely happy when Jesse won the gold medal defeating him. He didn’t even mind shaking Jesse’s hand hard ignoring the stare of Hitler from a few yards distance. Jesse Owens felt that the 24-carat friendship he felt for Luz Long was his greatest Olympic prize.