Jesse Owens Olympic Oak Tree Planted At Rockefeller Pond


Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics [Biography.com]

At the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, each gold medalist received an English oak tree from the host country of Germany. The oak is a powerful symbol of their national pride. In total, 130 oaks were awarded worldwide, and 24 of them went to U.S. Olympians.

Clevelander Jesse Owens brought home four young saplings after winning four gold medals. Owens planted all four trees in Ohio: one at the home his parents in Cleveland, one at Rhodes High School where he practiced track, another at East Tech High School where Owens attended secondary school and the fourth at Ohio State University.  


Gold Medalist Jesse Owens proudly displays two of the four English oak trees he received during the 1936 Olypmics held in Berlin, Germany. [Legacy.com]

Eighty-six years later, the only surviving Jesse Owens tree at Rhodes High School in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood is dying. As a way of honoring Jesse Owens’ accomplishments for years to come, horticulturalists cloned an exact replica of that tree. It was recently planted at Rockefeller Pond in Cleveland’s University Circle, commemorating Jesse Owens’ endurance, strength and fortitude on the field and off.

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