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Luz Long

Full name: Carl-Ludwig Hermann "Luz" Long
Gender: Male
Height: 6-0 (184 cm)
Weight: 159 lbs (72 kg)
Born: April 27, 1913 in Leipzig, Sachsen, Germany
Died: July 14, 1943 in Acate, Ragusa, Italy
Affiliations: Leipziger SC, Leipzig (GER)
Country: GER Germany
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)

Biography

German long jumper Luz Long was born to a family of five children as the son of the pharmacist Carl Hermann Long and Johanna Hesse. His great-great-grandfather was famous chemist Justus von Liebig (1803-1873). Luz studied law and did his doctorate in 1939 on the dissertation Die Leitung des Sports durch den Staat, eine entwicklungstechnische Darstellung (The Management of Sports by The State\: A Representation of Technical Development).

In 1941 Long was recruited for World War II, and first worked training soldier sports in Wismar. From January 1941 he was inserted as a sports instructor to the FDJ. (Free German Youth). Starting in May 1943 he became Lance Corporal of the 10th Paratrooper Flak Regiment "Hermann Goering" in Sicily. In July 1943 he was involved in fighting with the Americans around the San Pietro airfield, and on 14 July he went missing in action. Due to recent statements by fellow soldier and witness Robert Stadler (born 1924), Long’s demise could be reconstructed, “We tried to escape and ran to our lives, pursued by the Americans. In the nearby vineyard Biscari we met Luz Long, who lay there with a heavily bleeding wound in his thigh. We quickly tried to tie off the wound with a torn garment, which certainly did not help much. In our view, Luz Long died of excessive blood loss.” He was initially buried by the Americans in Gela and in 1961 reburied in the German war cemetery Motta Santa Anastasia in Sicily.

Luz Long, whose sister Elfriede and brothers Sebastian and Heinrich were also avid track athletes, was German long jump champion in 1933-34, 1936-39 and runner-up in 1941-42. At the 1934 and 1938 European Championships he earned two bronze medals, and at the World University Games won a silver medal in 1935 and a gold in 1937. Between 1933 and 1937 he set five new European records.

His greatest moment came at the 1936 Nazi Olympic Games in Berlin when he battled with [Jesse Owens] in front of chancellor Adolf Hitler. Long met his expectations by setting an Olympic record during the preliminary round. In contrast, Owens fouled on his first two jumps. Long then gave Owens advice on how to modify his approach and Owens won the competition. Owens said in 1964 that Long went to him and told him to try and jump from a spot several inches behind the take-off board. He then easily qualified for the final, later taking the gold medal, as Long finished second.

The veracity of this anecdote has become somewhat controversial, but both athletes became fast friends during the Olympics. After the award ceremony both went arm-in-arm to the media, causing Long to receive significant attention from the Nazi press and public, and it was said that Hitler was not amused. Owens stated in the 1960s, “It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler. You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the 24-karat friendship I felt for Luz Long at that moment. Hitler must have gone crazy watching us embrace.”

Personal Bests\: LJ – 7.90 (1937); TJ – 14.80 (1936).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Men's Long Jump Germany GER 2 Silver
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Men's Triple Jump Germany GER 10

Men's Long Jump

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank D
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Final Round 2 7.87w
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Final Round Round One 3 7.54w
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Final Round Round Two 2 7.74w
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Final Round Round Three 2 7.84w
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Final Round Round Four 2 7.73w
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Final Round Round Five 2 7.87w
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Final Round Round Six NP foul
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Qualifying Round NP QU

Men's Triple Jump

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank D
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Final Round 10 14.62
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Final Round 12 14.31
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Final Round 10 14.62
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Final Round 10 foul
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Athletics Germany Qualifying Round NP QU
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