Beanpot Tournament
championship game pits
BU vs. Northeastern,
Monday, February 11,
8 p.m., at the FleetCenter
Week of 8 February 2002 · Vol. V, No. 22


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America's Olympic heroes: John Thomas (SED'63) (left) and Jesse Owens meet on the BU campus in 1961. Jumpin' John was to the indoor high jump what Roger Bannister was to the mile; Bannister broke the four-minute-mile barrier, and Thomas cleared the high jump bar at 7' 1/4" while wearing the scarlet and white. Thomas was favored to win the gold medal in the high jump in both the 1960 and the 1964 Olympics, but earned the bronze instead in '60, after failing to clear 7' 1", and the silver in '64. Today he is athletic director at Roxbury Community College. Owens (1913-1980) was a track star at Ohio State University, where he scorched track records while enduring the segregated society of 1933 America. He was required to live off campus with other African-American athletes, and when traveling with the team, could either order carryout or eat at blacks-only restaurants. He bunked in blacks-only hotels, or if a "white" hotel allowed him to stay, it required him to use the back entrance and take the stairs instead of the elevator. He entered the 1936 Olympics -- dubbed the "Hitler Olympics" because the games were held in Nazi Germany and Hitler was determined to prove to the world the superiority of the German, or Aryan, people. Owens stunned the predominantly German crowd by winning four gold medals in a single day -- the first American in the history of Olympic track and field to do so -- in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the broad jump, and as a member of the 400-meter relay team. In 1976, Owens was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a U.S. citizen can receive, by President Gerald Ford. Photo by BU Photo Services


8 February 2002
Boston University
Office of University Relations