It was an honor and an experience to join the Sousa Mendes Foundation on a panel discussing the legacy of Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympic Games in Germany. I was blessed to have been accompanied on the panel by STUART OWEN RANKIN, the grandson of the Olympic legend himself: Jesse Owens.
"Jesse Owens, the son of Alabama sharecroppers, was the Olympic champion who defeated Nazi ideology in Hitler’s stadium. He later served on the Board of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Meet his grandson, Stuart Owen Rankin, who will be in dialogue with Lori Weintrob, historian and Director of the Wagner College Holocaust Center. Representing the International Olympics Committee on the panel is Anita L. DeFrantz, a US Olympic medalist and Vice-President of the IOC."
I hope you enjoy this historical discussion as I did, while remembering the life and times of Mr. Jesse Owens.
Over my 34+ years involved in professional sports, from the IOC to national organizations, I have been involved in directing numerous investigations concerning cheating and doping. If there's one thing I've learned over this period, it's that, even if it takes years, cheaters almost always get caught eventually. In the case of the Olympic Games - cheaters caught after the fact can and will even have their medals retroactively stripped from them. It isn't worth it!
With a focus on the Olympic portion of my career, many may not know that I have been a practicing civil rights attorney since 1977. In fact, aside from my sports career as an athlete, then later IOC member, I have been serving the LA84 Foundation for three decades while working as a lawyer.
I recently came across a growing phenomenon in the U.S. called "First Amendment Audits." Out of professional and personal curiosity, I started following @Amagansett Press on YouTube and, as an attorney, was pleasantly surprised by the professional demeanor of most of the police officers. Others, though, I feel are in dire need of training and education as far as their knowledge of citizens' basic rights.
The U.S. Constitution and our personal rights have been subject to various attacks and reductions in recent years. I am hoping that public servants, and members of law enforcement, continue to be reminded how important their roles are as protectors of our rights: and how much responsibility has been bestowed upon them to do so.
The Beijing 2022 Winter Games medal designs have been released. What are your thoughts on their designs?
Cheating and doping in the Olympic Games is strictly prohibited by the IOC, tarnishes the end goal of providing a fair and even playing field for sport, and is absolutely unacceptable.
As I wrote about in my book - My Olympic Life - the IOC oversees a program where drug samples from competitors are kept for years, even after competition takes place, and testing is done on a randomized and ongoing basis. Athletes who are caught cheating can have their awards retroactively stripped from them.
What also gives me Deja Vu in this case is that the steroid drug detected from this athlete is STANOZOLOL - the exact same chemical that came up in another case of doping which I was involved with decades ago at the '88 Seoul Games.
History doesn't necessarily repeat itself, but it sure can rhyme.
Here's an interesting French language article with a bit of Olympic history in it. I also had the opportunity to be interviewed and contribute to the article. Though in French, it translates very nicely with Google. Check it out!
The Coronavirus is no joke - I am wishing Madi a thorough and swift recovery, and congratulate her once again on her Gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games!
‘I Love Representing the US’: Gold Medal Winner Tamyra Mensah-Stock Goes Viral After Professing Love for Country
Was absolutely thrilled to see Tamyra Mensah-Stock's positivity and victory at the Tokyo Games. She is one shining example of the best the Olympic Games brings out of athletes: hard work, sportsmanship, and gratitude. Congratulations, Tamyra, and go USA!
Had an interview with NBC concerning my thoughts of the situation concerning the Tokyo Olympic Games. Hope you find it informative!
Had lots of fun with the team at Vanity Fair - where I reviewed several sports films from the perspective of an Olympian. Take a look and let me know of your opinions as well!