53 Jesse Owens Quotes On Success In Life

James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens was an American track and field athlete and four-time gold medalist in the 1936 Olympic Games. These Jesse Owens quotes will motivate you.

Best Jesse Owens Quotes

  1. “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.” ~ Jesse Owens
  2. “Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it.” ~ Jesse Owens
  3. “In the end, it’s extra effort that separates a winner from second place. But winning takes a lot more that that, too. It starts with complete command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire, determination, discipline, and self-sacrifice. And finally, it takes a great deal of love, fairness and respect for your fellow man. Put all these together, and even if you don’t win, how can you lose?” ~ Jesse Owens
  4. “When I came back, after all those stories about Hitler and his snub, I came back to my native country, and I could not ride in the front of the bus. I had to go to the back door. I couldn’t live where I wanted. Now what’s the difference?” ~ Jesse Owens
  5. “The only victory that counts is the one over yourself.” ~ Jesse Owens

  6. “There is something that can happen to every athlete and every human being; the instinct to slack off, to give in to pain, to give less than your best; the instinct to hope you can win through luck or through your opponent not doing his best, instead of going to the limit and past your limit where victory is always found. Defeating those negative instincts that are out to defeat us, is the difference between winning and losing – and we all face that battle every day.” ~ Jesse Owens
  7. “The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at.” ~ Jesse Owens
  8. “Although I wasn’t invited to shake hands with Hitler, I wasn’t invited to the White House to shake hands with the President either.” ~ Jesse Owens
  9. Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.” ~ Jesse Owens
  10. “One chance is all you need.” ~ Jesse Owens

  11. “Championships are mythical. The real champions are those who live through what they are taught in their homes and churches. The attitude that ‘We’ve got to win’ in sports must be changed. Teach your youngsters, who are the future hope of America, the importance of love, respect, dedication, determination, self-sacrifice, self-discipline and good attitude. That’s the road up the ladder to the championships.” ~ Jesse Owens , Jesse Owens quotes on self discipline
  12. “I always loved running… it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” ~ Jesse Owens
  13. “After I came home from the 1936 Olympics with my four medals, it became increasingly apparent that everyone was going to slap me on the back, want to shake my hand or have me up to their suite. But no one was going to offer me a job.” ~ Jesse Owens
  14. “The only bond worth anything between human beings is their humanness.” ~ Jesse Owens

  15. “People say that it was degrading for an Olympic champion to run against a horse, but what was I supposed to do? I had four gold medals, but you can’t eat four gold medals. There was no television, no big advertising, no endorsements then. Not for a black man, anyway.” ~ Jesse Owens
  16. “When I passed the Chancellor he arose, waved his hand at me, and I waved back at him. I think the writers showed bad taste in criticizing the man of the hour in Germany.” ~ Jesse Owens
  17. “Hitler didn’t snub me – it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send me a telegram.” ~ Jesse Owens
  18. “A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.” ~ Jesse Owens

  19. “Running is real. It’s all joy and woe, hard as diamond. It makes you weary beyond comprehension, but it also makes you free.” ~ Jesse Owens
  20. “We must respect the rights and properties of our fellowman. And then learn to play the game of life, as well as the game of athletics, according to the rules of society. If you can take that and put it into practice in the community in which you live, then, to me you have won the greatest championship.” ~ Jesse Owens
  21. “Only by God?s grace have I made it to see today and only by God?s grace will I ever see tomorrow.” ~ Jesse Owens
  22. “Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.” ~ Jesse Owens

  23. “I wanted no part of politics. And I wasn’t in Berlin to compete against any one athlete. The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. As I’d learned long ago from Charles Riley, the only victory that counts is the one over yourself.” ~ Jesse Owens
  24. “One day or another every athlete feels like taking it easy. He stops trying to exceed his limits, and thinks he can keep winning because of his lucky star, or the bad luck of his opponents. You must overcome this negative instinct, which affects all of us, and which is the only difference between the person who wins a race, and those who lose. This is the battle you have to fight every day of your life.” ~ Jesse Owens
  25. “If you don’t try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody’s back yard.” ~ Jesse Owens

  26. “People come out to see you perform and you’ve got to give them the best you have within you.” ~ Jesse Owens
  27. “The black fist is a meaningless symbol. When you open it, you have nothing but fingers – weak, empty fingers. The only time the black fist has significance is when there’s money inside. There’s where the power lies.” ~ Jesse Owens
  28. “”She (Minnie Ruth Solomon) was unusual because even though I knew her family was as poor as ours, nothing she said or did seemed touched by that. Or by prejudice. Or by anything the world said or did. It was as if she had something inside her that somehow made all that not count. I fell in love with her some the first time we ever talked, and a little bit more every time after that until I thought I couldn’t love her more than I did. And when I felt that way, I asked her to marry me . . . and she said she would.”” ~ Jesse Owens
  29. “I decided I wasn’t going to come down. I was going to fly. I was going to stay up in the air forever.” ~ Jesse Owens

  30. “To a sprinter, the hundred-yard dash is over in three seconds, not nine or ten. The first ‘second’ is when you come out of the blocks. The next is when you look up and take your first few strides to attain gain position. By that time the race is actually about half over. The final ‘second’ – the longest slice of time in the world for an athlete – is that last half of the race, when you really bear down and see what you’re made of. It seems to take an eternity, yet is all over before you can think what’s happening.” ~ Jesse Owens
  31. “I let my feet spend as little time on the ground as possible. From the air, fast down, and from the ground, fast up.” ~ Jesse Owens
  32. “I realized now that militancy in the best sense of the word was the only answer where the black man was concerned, that any black man who wasn’t a militant in 1970 was either blind or a coward.” ~ Jesse Owens
  33. “It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it’s close” ~ Jesse Owens

  34. “People who worked with me or knew me still called me the ‘world’s fastest human’ because I almost never stopped. I’d found that I could get more done with no regular job or regular hours at all, but by being on my own, flying to speak here, help with a public relations campaign for some client there, tape my regular jazz radio show one morning at 5:00 a.m. before leaving on a plane for another city or another continent three hours later to preside over a major sporting event.” ~ Jesse Owens
  35. “I had four gold medals, but you can’t eat four gold medals.” ~ Jesse Owens
  36. “I fought, I fought harder . . . but one cell at a time, panic crept into my body, taking me over.” ~ Jesse Owens

  37. “Joe Louis and I were the first modern national sports figures who were black… But neither of us could do national advertising because the South wouldn’t buy it. That was the social stigma we lived under.” ~ Jesse Owens
  38. “The road to the Olympics, leads to no city, no country. It goes far beyond New York or Moscow, ancient Greece or Nazi Germany. The road to the Olympics leads — in the end — to the best within us.” ~ Jesse Owens
  39. “For a time, at least, I was the most famous person in the entire world.” ~ Jesse Owens
  40. “If you don’t try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody’s back yard. The thrill of competing carries with it the thrill of a gold medal. One wants to win to prove himself the best.” ~ Jesse Owens
  41. “In the space of less than seven days, I attended a track meet in Boston, flew from there to Bowling Green for the National Jaycees, then to Rochester for the blind, Buffalo for another track meet, New York to shoot a film called The Black Athlete, Miami for Ford Motor Company, back up to New York for 45 minutes to deliver a speech, then into L. A. for another the same night.” ~ Jesse Owens
  42. “It dawned on me with blinding brightness. I realized: I had jumped into another rare kind of stratosphere – one that only a handful of people in every generation are lucky enough to know.” ~ Jesse Owens
  43. “Life doesn’t give you all the practice races you need.” ~ Jesse Owens

  44. “It was bad enough to have toppled from the Olympic heights to make my living competing with animals. But the competition wasn’t even fair. No man could beat a race horse, not even for 100 yards.” ~ Jesse Owens
  45. “He was constantly on me about the job that I was to do and the responsibility that I had upon the campus. And how I must be able to carry myself because people were looking.” ~ Jesse Owens
  46. “We used to have a lot of fun. We never had any problems. We always ate. The fact that we didn’t have steak? Who had steak?” ~ Jesse Owens
  47. “I always loved running…. It was something you could do by yourself and under your own power.” ~ Jesse Owens

  48. “Well, I couldn’t play an instrument. I’d just stand up front and announce the numbers. They had me sing a little, but that was a horrible mistake. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. We played black theaters and nightclubs all over hell. One-nighters. Apollo Theater in Harlem and the Earle Theater in Philly – That was big time for blacks.” ~ Jesse Owens
  49. “The secret is, first, get a thoroughbred horse because they are the most nervous animals on earth. Then get the biggest gun you can find and make sure the starter fires that big gun right by the nervous thoroughbred’s ear.” ~ Jesse Owens
  50. “The lives of most men are patchwork quilts. Or at best one matching outfit with a closet and laundry bag full of incongruous accumulations. A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.” ~ Jesse Owens
  51. “To a sprinter, the hundred-yard dash is over in three seconds, not nine or ten.” ~ Jesse Owens
  52. “I’d noticed him watching me for a year or so, especially when we’d play games where there was running or jumping.” ~ Jesse Owens
  53. “It’s like having a pet dog for a long time. You get attached to it, and when it dies you miss it.” ~ Jesse Owens

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