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Race Is On

Feb. 15, 2016
Feb. 15, 2016

Table of Contents
Feb. 15, 2016

SI NOW
INBOX
SUPER BOWL 50 2016
OFF-SEASON PREVIEW
BASEBALL 2016
FIFA 2016
  • WHOEVER WINS THE ELECTION TO REPLACE DISGRACED PRESIDENT SEPP BLATTER IN THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION IN FIFA'S CORRUPT HISTORY WILL BE FACED WITH THIS QUESTION: DO THE VOTERS REALLY WANT CHANGE?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL 2016
NBA 2016
COLLEGE FOOTBALL 2016
  • By Chris Johnson

    AFTER FIVE YEARS IN THE RECRUITING CROSSHAIRS, NO. 1 PROSPECT RASHAN GARY FINALLY PICKED A SCHOOL. NOW THE REAL BATTLE CAN BEGIN

  • The best way to stop the rash of decommitments and pulled scholarships is to let players sign as soon as they get an offer

  • By Gabe Baumgaertner

    How did the last 10 No. 1 recruits turn out?

  • Ten players who can make a difference next fall

NASCAR 2016
BUSHWACKER
  • Kent Cox turned Bushwacker into the greatest bucking bull in history—and their bond was as deep as that between any trainer and human athlete. So why did Cox make the bull a witness to his ultimate act of violence?

POINT AFTER
Departments

Race Is On

The star of the new Jesse Owens biopic speaks out

By Christopher Chavez

ON FEB. 18, Race brings the story of Jesse Owens's rise from Ohio State track and field star to Olympic hero at the 1936 Summer Games to the big screen. It's the first feature film about the man who smashed records and racial barriers by winning four gold medals in Adolf Hitler's Berlin.

This is an article from the Feb. 15, 2016 issue

SI chatted with actor Stephan James, 22, about portraying Owens.

SI: What did you do to prepare for the role?

SJ: There's not much on YouTube, so I watched Leni Riefenstahl's film Olympia, which showcases the 1936 Games. That helped me know what it was like at that time and how Jesse looked and talked.

I also spent time at Georgia Tech training under coach Nat Page. I had done a little bit of track growing up in Toronto, and I had to learn how to tailor that to Jesse's start and stride.

SI: How much did the Owens family help?

SJ: Everybody knows the athlete he was, but we don't know much about him as a person. They provided that perspective. They became part of my family too.

They also told me how much Jesse liked to dress up and smell good. He wore a lot of cologne.

SI: What was it like walking into the Olympic stadium in Berlin?

SJ: In that moment I was Jesse walking in there for the first time. I could only imagine what it was like with thousands of Germans in 1936. It's on a street named Jesse Owens Allee, and there's a lounge there with his photo everywhere. It was incredible to see that they haven't forgotten him.

SI: Has the film enhanced your appreciation for track?

SJ: We went to the IAAF World Championships in Beijing with Jesse's daughters. To hear what he means to guys like Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin was inspiring.

THEY SAID IT

"WE JUST HOPE HE'S THE NEXT ARCHIE MANNING, YOU KNOW?"

Bob Baffert

American Pharoah's trainer, commenting on the horse's career as a sire.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

D-III Keuka College is changing its name to Wolves from Wolfpack after N.C. State threatened legal action.

PHOTOTHIBAULT GRABHERR/FOCUS FEATURES/COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION (JAMES)PHOTOLANCE KING/GETTY IMAGES (MR. WUF)PHOTOAL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES (AMERICAN PHAROAH)