Extract Based Questions
Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.
Question 1 : Why was Jesse Owens in for a surprise?
Answer : Jesse Owens was confident of his victory in the 26 feet long jump category till he saw Luz Long. So far, Jesse had been thinking that he had no competitor , but on seeing Luz Long, a tall, white German athlete, he got started and angry also.
Question 2 : Who was Luz Long? How was he in his practice trails?
Answer : Luz Long was a German athlete. He was tall, lean, muscular in build. He was called a fine example of Coubertin’s ideal. A tall boy hitting the pit at almost 26 feet on his practice leaps on the broad jump trails surprised Jesse Owens.
Question 3 : Why had Hitler kept Luz Long hidden? What was his intention?
Answer : Hitler wanted to show the world that the Aryans belonged to superior race and could not be defeated. The prove his point he had hidden his best athlete only to perform in the Olympics Games. Through Luz Long, Hitler wanted to win the track jumps category and take back gold medal from the Olympics.
Question 4 : What does Jesse mean by, ‘After all, I am a Negro’?
Answer : When Jesse says ‘After all, I am a Negro’, he was showing his reaction on seeing Luz Long, a tall thin athlete of Germany who was till now hidden from the world by Hitler. As Hitler was always proud of members of his own race and thought meanly about the black, Jesse Owen’s reaction was natural. But he became angry, lost his cool and came under pressure there by making many mistakes during trails.
Question 5 : What was the Theory of Aryan Supremacy ?
Answer : Hitler believed in the Theory of Aryan Supremacy. According to him, the Germans were the purest stock of Aryans and were meant to be the most pure race in the entire humanity. Therefore, Hitler believed his German players to be of a better race and made them to perform the best during the Games. He had little faith in the capacities and capabilities of the others.
Question 1 : Why did Jesse Owens foul the first two jumps in the trail?
Answer : Despite knowing that anger spoils the spirit of an athlete, forcing him to make mistakes, he was angered at Hitler’s sly introduction of Luz Long to prove Aryan superiority. Owens, being a Negro, hated it and his anger at Hitler’s way decreased his determination to win the Olympics. Anger ruled his mind and made his foul in the first two attempts in the trails.
Question 2 : Did Luz Long understand the situation? How did he help Owens to regain his confidence?
Answer : Luz Long understood that something was troubling Jesse. Even though Jesse did not mention it, Luz tried to reassure Jesse that he was doing well and would mange to qualify the trails if he played with a little precision. He explained the technical point of view also to Owens.
Question 3 : How did Luz Long help Jesse Owens?
Answer : Luz Long, a true sportsman and an amazing human being, eased Owen’s tension by being compassionate. He gave him a genuinely friendly advice to draw a line a few inches from the takeoff board to avoid over-stepping and thus fouling. Owens took his advice and was able to qualify with a clean mind.
Question 4 : Did Luz Long believe in the Aryan Supremacy Theory?
Answer : Luz Long, just like Jesse Owens, did not believe in Theory of Aryan Supremacy. Though schooled in the Nazi Youth Movement, Luz understood that not birth or ethnicity, but character and skills make one a better person and any one who could perform well, could win the medal.
Question 5 : What did Luz Long share with Jesse Ownes? How did his advice affect Jesse’s performance?
Answer : Luz Long could perhaps understand Jesse’s nervousness. He first comforted Jesse on the grounds of racial superiority/inferiority by exposing the falseness of the myth of Aryan Supremacy. He, then, went on to advise Jesse that if he started a little before the take-off line, he was sure not to foul. He also tired to relieve Jesse’s tension by saying that toady they were merely playing to qualify the trails. The real match was on the nest day. This hit Jesse and helped him qualify the trails in his third attempt.
Question 1 : When and where is the story set? What reason does the narrator Jesse Owens give for the heightened nationalistic feelings at this time?
Answer : The story is set in the summer of 1936. It is set at the Olympic Games being held in Berlin, Germany. The reason Jesse Owens gives for the heightened nationalistic feelings at that time was that Hitler childishly insisted that his performers were members of a “master race”.
Question 2 : In which event had Owens been confident of winning a gold medal? Why?
Answer : Owens had been confident of winning a gold medal in the running broad jump because, just a year before the Olympic Games, he had set the world’s record of 26 feet 8- 1/4 inches and everybody expected him to win this event easily.
Question 3 : What had made Owens angry enough to make mistakes?
Answer : Hitler had kept a good athlete, Luz Long, away from publicity till the Olympics so that he could win the running broad jump as a surprise element in the event. This angered Jesse Owens enough to make mistakes while jumping in the qualification jumps.
Question 4 : Name Owen’s rival who approached him at his point. What advice did this athlete give Owens?
Answer : Owens’ rival who approached him at this point was named Luz Long . He advised Owens to prevent fouling his jumps by drawing a line a few inches behind the board and aim at making his takeoff from there.
Question 5 : How did the two athletes perform in the finals? What does Jesse Owens consider his ‘Greatest Olympic Prize’? Why?
Answer : In the finals, Luz Long broke his past record. However, Owens performed better than him and jumped to an Olympic record distance of 26 feet 5-5/16 inches to win the gold medal. But Jesse Owens considers his ‘Greatest Olympic Prize’ as his friendship with Luz Long , the German athlete. That was because Luz Long was the symbol of the spirit of the Olympic Games, i.e. the important thing is not winning but taking part.
Question 1 : Why were the Olympic Games being held in Germany? What did Hitler assert?
Answer : Hitler had been publicising the Aryan Supremacy Theory. He found the Olympic Games the best opportunity to showcase the supremacy of Aryan over the other races. So, in a childish manner he insisted that the Olympic Games should be held in Berlin. Hitler asserted that the German should he held in Berlin. Hitler asserted that the German players were members of a ‘master race’. Therefore, the games must be held in Berlin, Germany.
Question 2 : Why was Jesse confident of his victory? How had he trained himself?
Answer : Jesse had trained and sweated himself for six years. He had been working hard for the games. Thus, he was certain of his victory. Also, he had already set a world record of 26 feet 8-1/4 inches in long jump. It appeared a length that was impossible to scale by no other than him. Moreover there was no other competitor of his match on International level. Hence, he was certain to take back home one or two gold medals.
Question 3 : Why was her startled to see Luz Long? How was it a surprise?
Answer : Hitler had kept Luz Long hidden with an intention that Luz would win the Olympics. Jesse was startled to see Luz’s splendid performance. Not having seen this German athlete before, Jesse was not anticipating a competitor in the broad jump. It came as a surprise the affected his game adversely.
Question 4 : What was the most important advice given by Luz to Jesse?
Answer : Luz most have seen and heard about Jesse Owens so he was very well aware of his potentials as a long jumper. When he saw him making fouls he had understood his feelings. So to boost his confidence he went to him and advised him to start a little before the take-off boundary in order to prevent fouling. Also, Luz tried to calm down Jesse’s nervousness by saying that today it was important to qualify the trials. He could save his energy for the real match.
Question 5 : What all did Jesse and Luz talk about? What made Jesse to visit Luz?
Answer : Luz had been observing Jesse, his nervousness, his fouls. Luz, therefore, spoke to Jesse about fouls, skill, patience, nationalism, the Aryan theory, and so on. Immediately, a bond between the two had been established. After qualifying the trials, Jesse went to Luz’s room to thank him. There they spent a couple of hours talking about tracks, fields, the world picture and anything and everything that friends would talk about.
Question 1 : How was Luz’s behaviour different from that of other Germans? How did Jesse and Luz become friends?
Answer : At the onset of the story when Jesse first meets Luz, he sees in him an arch-rival , whom he has to defeat anyhow. Luz’s sudden appearance on the field adds tension to Owen’s game to such an extent that he begins to foul in his trails.
Luz’s Approach : Luz Long observes Jesse’s tension, anger, nervousness and problem. He offers to help Jesse by talking to him, sharing with him his experience and advice and tries to calm down the angry Jesse Owens. Seeing the friendly behaviour of Luz, a bond has been struck between the two, Jesse was assuming Long to be an example of Hitler’s Aryan Supremacy.
Luz’s Advice and Views : Contrary to his views, Luz advises him to mark a line a few inches in back of the take off board and aim at making his take-off from there. This trick works and Jesse clears the trail. At this point, Jesse realises that Luz is different from the other people of his race so he approaches his room and spend a quality time with him. They talk about various subjects like games, politics, the world situation and many other things. By now, Jesse has understood that Luz Long does not believe in Aryan Supremacy Theory. According to him, good nature and purity of mind decide the mastery of humans.
Friendship Between Luz and Jesse : The common perception over many subjects make the both develop a tight bond in their friendship. After this point they are no longer rivals but friends, hoping the good for each other. Even before the match the next day, Jesse is convinced that Luz will play his best, but will not wish his friend to lose. In this account, Jesse admits that the friendship established between the two is precious than all the gold medals and cups he has ever won.
Question 2 : In what way did Hitler try to publicise his theory of the Aryan-Supremacy? Did he succeed?
Answer : Hitler believed in the theory of Aryan Supremacy, according to which the Germans were the purest of all the human races. They were, therefore, better in all possible ways from people of other ethnicities. No, Hitler did not succeed in it.
His Secret Plan : During the 1936 Olympic Games, Hitler secretly kept the German athlete, Luz Long, under the wraps , hoping to win the jump with him. Hitler did this strategically to build pressure on the rival teams and demotivate them. Doing so, he thought it would be an easy victory for his player. This would help him further in promulgating his theory of Aryan Superiority.
Failure of his Theory : However, Luz Long was commendable in his performance, he did not win the mach. Jesse who was upset in the beginning at the sudden appearance of Luz Long, finally won the match. This left Hitler disappointed and his theory of Aryan Superiority in shreds.
Theory Proved to be Fake and Unimpressive : Hitler did succeed to publicise his Theory of Aryan Supremacy through the 1936 Olympic Games, but his propaganda filed and he could not prove how his theory was correct. Jesse Owens who was a black and did not agree with his theory, crushed his arrogance by winning four gold medals in the same Olympic Games. In one of the events, he defeated Luz Long, the hidden weapon of Hitler. Luz Long who himself was an Aryan did not believe in the theory. He shook hands with Jesse after his winning the gold in long jump event ignoring Hitler’s glare. It shows that the Aryan Supremacy theory could not impress even the Germans, Hitler’s own people , the Aryans.