Olympic acorn planting is part of history | TheFencePost.com

Olympic acorn planting is part of history

Beth Gibbons
Crawford, Neb.

Courtesy PhotoDr. Don Holst and Stan Campbell of Chadron, Neb., are interested in planting and growing Olympic Acorns.

Stan Campbell and Dr. Don Holst of Chadron are interested in planting and growing Olympic Acorns. Special acorn seedlings were given to all gold medal winners at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany the year Jesse Owens set a record by winning four gold medals for the USA. Owens, outstanding track and field athlete born at Danville, Ala., in 1913, won medals in the 100 meter run, 200 meter run, long jump and four 100 meter relay. He set a track and field athletic world record in running broad jump that stood for 25 years. Hitler was so upset that Owens and other athletes out performed his Aryan athletes that he refused to shake the winners’ hands.

Owens, the most remarkable athlete brought home four of the Olympic Acorn Seedlings in 1936. Dr. Holst said, “There were 24 oak seedlings given to gold medal winning Americans that year.” He knows of only three or four of the original trees growing from the originals. Olympic Oak trees are growing at Colorado State College at Fort Collins in honor of their decathlon champion. Two are at the University of California at Berkley. There is one at Oklahoma State at Stillwater, at Cleveland, Ohio and Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Dr. Holst, former CSC track coach and teacher, was Decathlon Olympic coach in 1968.

Internet information: “For a time, Owens was alone or shared the world records for all sprint distances recognized by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF; later International Association of Athletics Federations). After retiring from competitive track, Owens engaged in boys’ guidance activities, made goodwill visits to India and East Asia for the U.S. Department of State, served as secretary of the Illinois State Athletic Commission, and worked in public relations. In 1976 Owens received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in 1990 he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.”