|The greatest Olympic Prize|
(i). Which Games are referred to in the extract above? Who wasn't too worried about them? Why?
Ans. The 1936 Olympic Games, which held in Berlin, is the game which referred in the extract. The narrator of the extract, Jesse Owens (American athlete), who was one of the participants of Olympic Games of 1936, was not worried about these game because he had trained, sweated and disciplined himself for the six-year for this event.
(ii). Why were nationalistic feelings high during these Games?
Ans. Olympic of 1936 was held in Berlin, Germany. Adolf Hitler believed in Aryan-Superiority theory according to which Aryans were the master race and superior to any other race, so he viewed it as a golden opportunity to showcase his country and prove that they will perform better than any other participants. So nationalistic feelings were running high.
(iii) In which event was the speaker expected to win the gold medal? Why?
Ans. The speaker was expected to win a gold medal in the long (broad )jump event because a year earlier, in 1935 at Ohio State University, Owens recorded one of the best performances of history and set a world record of 26 feet 8-1/4 inches long jump. So, everyone was expecting, that he will win that Olympic event hands down
(iv) When the speaker went for his trials, he was startled to see somebody. Whom did he see? Why was he startled on seeing him?
Ans. When the speaker went for trials, he startled to see a tall boy. He was a German, named Luz Long, he was hitting the pit at almost 26 feet on his practice leaps, Hitler had kept him under wraps in the hope to win jump with him. Therefore, speaker startled to see him.
(v) What did Owens do to succeed in qualifying for the finals of the competition? Who was responsible for his success?
Ans. Owens drew a line a few inches in back of the board and proceed to jump from there. Owens trained himself and practiced hard for six years. In this way, he succeeds in qualifying for finals of the competition. It was all possible because of Luz long who inspire and motivate him to do so.
(i) Who is the speaker of the above lines? What was the speaker preoccupied with?
Ans. Jesse Owens, American athlete is the speaker of the above lines. Speaker's mind was preoccupied with the thought that if Luz Long won, it would be new support to Nazis Aryan Superiority theory. He was a Negro. He really wants to show Hitler and his "master race" that who is superior and who isn't.
(ii) Where was the speaker determined to go? What did he intend to do?
Ans. The speaker was determined to go on broad jump track. He intended to take home one or two gold medals in the event of the broad jump, as he wants to break the myth of Aryan Superiority, that their participants belong to "master race''.
(iii) How did the speaker perform during his trials? Give reasons for his unexpected performance.
Ans. On the first of his 3-qualifying jumps, he leapt from several inches beyond the take-off board for a foul. On the second jump, he fouled even worse. He was driven by anger while initiating his leap. His mind was preoccupied with the thought of Luz Long performance and Hitler Superiority theory. Due to these reasons, he had an unexpected performance.
(iv) What was the Nazis' Aryan-superiority theory? How did Jesse Owens prove this theory wrong?
Ans. Nazis believed in the theory of racial hierarchy, identifying Germans as the part of the Aryan or Nordic master race. The Nazis aimed to unite all Germans living in historically German territory while excluding those deemed either to be community aliens or belonging to an ''inferior'' race. Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi party wanted to demonstrate his racial superiority by dominating the Games in 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Jesse Owens prove this theory wrong by winning the Gold Medal in the event.
(v) Give the meaning of:
(a) hot under the collar
(b) Der Fuhrer
[a] Embarrassed or angry about something.
[b]The political title, given to Adolf Hitler, which means Leader.
(i) What made the speaker of the extract bitter? Why was he making fouls?
Ans. On the first of his 3- qualifying jumps, he leapt from several inches beyond the take-off board for a foul. On the second jump, he fouled even worse. This underperformance at the event made the speaker bitter. He knew well that anger will spoil his spirit, even though he was driven by anger at Hitler's Nazis' Aryan-Superiority theory which made him foul in the first two attempts.
(ii) How did the speaker react to his poor performance? How did his anger vanish?
Ans. Owens leap by several inches beyond the take-off point and made foul for the first two times. He bashes himself and walking few yards from pit, he kicks the dirt disgustedly at his poor performance. He soon found a hand on his shoulder, he was Luz Long. He comforted him by giving him the faith that he can do it. He also gives his friendly advice to him, to jump a few inches before the usual take-off spot.
(iii) Briefly describe the appearance and accent of the man who comforted and guided the speaker.
Ans. The man who comforted and guided the speaker was a German athlete, Luz Long. He was an inch taller than the speaker, he had a lean, muscular frame, clear blue eyes, blond hair and strikingly handsome, chiseled face. He spoke English well, though with a German twist to it.
(iv) The speaker was told that something must be eating him. Who said this and why?
Ans. It was said by Luz Long who was a German athlete. He said the above lines in order to comfort Jesse Owens.
(v) What was the advice given to the speaker to qualify for the finals? Did it prove successful? What does it reveal about the person who advised the speaker?
Ans. Luz advised Owens to play safe and jump a few inches before the usual take-off spot. Yes, the advice proved to be successful as Owens qualified for finals. This reveals that Luz was not only a friend, guide and support to Owens but an exemplary sportsperson.
(i) Why was Owens tense? What was "the truth" that hit Owens? What was the effect of this truth on him?
Ans. He trained himself and practice hard for six years to win a Gold Medal at Olympics, and at the ground, he was not able to perform better. Out of 3-qualifying, he wastes his first two attempts. This made him tense. Luz long gives him a life lesson "tomorrow is what counts", this was the truth which hits Owens. Effect of his truth was suddenly all tension ebb out. He confidently drew the line a niche back the usual line and proceeded to jump from there, and qualified with almost foot of spare.
(ii) Where did Owens go the night he qualified for the finals? What did he do there?
Ans. Owens went to Luz long's room in the Olympic Village on the night of trial, after he qualified for final. Luz Long did not act as a rival but helped him qualify for the finals in the 1936 Olympics. Like a true friend, he gives friendly advice. Owens went there to thank him for humble nature and motivate him. He welcomed him and attended him for two hours.
(iii) Owens believed that if it hadn't been for Luz Long he probably wouldn't have qualified for the finals. Do you agree? Why?
Ans. Yes, I agree if it hadn't been for Luz long, he probably wouldn't have qualified for the final because it was Luz Long who sees Owens' anger but he could also see his potential, so he tried to calm him down. Conversing with him in a friendly manner, Luz Long gives him valuable tips so that he doesn't foul and qualifies. Due to Long's advice, Owens qualified for the final.
(iv) Briefly state how Luz and Owens performed in the finals.
Ans. In the finals, Luz Long broke his own past record. In doing so, he pushed Jesse on to the peak performance. Jesse won the Gold Medal and Olympic record of 26feet 5-5/16 inches. Luz Long was the first to congratulate him. Despite the fact that Hilter glared at them from the stands, less than a hundred yards away. Luz did not hesitate and shook his hand hard.
(v) Luz wanted Owens to do his best in the finals - even if that meant his own defeat. How does Luz help Owens in accomplishing his wish? How does it reflect the theme of Owens' autobiographical account?
Ans. Luz Long gives advice to the speaker to draw a line a few inches in back of the board and aim at making his take-off from there. It will be sure not to foul. It also tells that it doesn't matter if you are not first in the trails.
Yes, the advice proves successful and he was able to qualify for next round. It reveals that he was a true guide and a friend of Jesse. He made Jesse realise his potential. He was a true athlete.
(i) Give the meaning and significance of "24-carat friendship" that Owens felt for Luz Long.
Ans. A carat is a term used to measure gold content or purity. 24-carat gold is also called pure gold, i.e gold without traces of any other metal. Therefore 24-carat friendship signifies the true and pure friendship Owens felt for Luz long, which was free of traces of hatred, anger or malice
(ii) How and when was there a "real friendship" formed between Owens and Luz?
Ans. Luz long showed his friendly and humble nature. He did not act as a rival but help him in qualifying final. Like true friends, both of them met the same night in Luz long's room. They talked for hours- about track and field, themselves, the world situation and a dozen other things. It is then, they realize that a real friendship had been formed between them.
(iii) How did Luz Long respond to Owens' winning the gold? What does it reflect about Luz's character?
Ans. When Owens won the gold, Long was the first to congratulate him. Despite the fact that Hitler glared at them from the stands less than a hundred yards away, Luz shook Jesse's hand hard ''with a smile on the face''. He did not consider himself superior to Owens in any way. He heartily complimented him. He was not only a friend, guide and support to Owens but an exemplary sportsperson.
(iv) What, according to Coubertin, is the true spirit of the Olympics? State its significance with reference to Luz Long's behaviour towards Owens.
Ans. According to Coubertin, the true spirit of the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part. The essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well. Luz Long being a true sportsman showed his honest friendship formed between him and Jesse. He helped him in qualifying with his valuable advice. This shows that Luz Long believed in participating rather than winning. His rival's winning did not make him jealous. On the contrary, he congratulated him with all his heart. This clearly exemplifies that Long believed in Coubertin's words and passed the thought to Owens.
(v) What does Owens consider as his 'Greatest Olympic Prize'? Why?
Ans. The friendship Jesse formed with Luz Long was his greatest Olympic prize. When Jesse was suffering from mental agony Luz Long was the one who made him calm down and gave his valuable advice in trial round. He didn't act as a rival but helped him qualify for the final like a true friend. And the most notable thing Luz Long showed the genuine happiness when he won the gold medal despite the fact that Hitler glared at them from the stands less than a hundred yards away, Luz shook Jesse's hand hard ''with a smile on the face'' .Luz Long was an epitome of true friendship and sportsmanship. That's why Jesse consider his friendship as his "Greatest Olympic Prize".
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