Jesse Owens, the black athlete who won four gold medals for the United States in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and the United States Ambassador, Mr John Root, attended the opening of the new US Embassy in Abidjan on Monday (3 May) and the inauguration of "Jesse Owens Street", on which the Embassy stands.
Jesse Owens, the black athlete who won four gold medals for the United States in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and the United States Ambassador, Mr John Root, attended the opening of the new US Embassy in Abidjan on Monday (3 May) and the inauguration of "Jesse Owens Street", on which the Embassy stands. The Mayor of Abidjan said that by choosing to honour Jesse Owens in its way, his community wanted also to commemorate the significance for black people of Owens' victory over the Nazi racist theory. It's reported that when Jesse Owens beat the German title holder in the long jump, Luz Long, Hitler stamped out of the stadium in disgust.
SYNOPSIS: The new United States Embassy in Abidjan was opened last Monday. It's the first to be built specifically as an Embassy since independence in 1960. Also inaugurated - the Jesse Owens street.
Jesse Owens is the black American athlete who made himself one of the greatest athletes of all time by winning four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The street on which the Embassy stands has been renamed after him. John Root, the United States Ambassador welcomed guests to the opening of his new Embassy.
When the Mayor of Abidjan announced that he would be naming the street the Jesse Owens street, he said that his community wanted to honour the great athlete, but also wanted to commemorate his contribution to disproving the Nazi racialist theory. When Owens beat the great Nazi long jump champion, Luz Long, Hitler is said to have stamped out of the stadium in disgust. And in 1960, Jesse Owens was acclaimed the "Champion of the Century".
The ribbon for the Embassy was cut by the Secretary-General of the Foreign Ministry, Georges Anoma. Then the party went on a small tour of the Embassy. All other Embassies are converted buildings, grand enough to be used to house the diplomatic delegations of foreign countries. Only this one has been built just for this.
The visiting book, a scroll. All official guests will sign it. Among the very first signatures, Jesse Owens. And another American athlete, Mal Whitfield. He's living in Abidjan now, training Ivorian athletes. Before Jesse Owens came to the Ivory Coast, he said in the States that he was looking forward to the visit. He's never been here before, and said he was looking forward to meeting the country's athletes. African athletes, he said, have a great future.