Jesse Owens was a track-and-field giant, earning four gold medals at the Nazi-run 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics. The first trailer for Race, exclusively here on Yahoo Movies, offers an initial look at Stephan James (Selma, When the Game Stands Tall) as Owens as he rises through the world of athletics and becomes one of the sport’s all-time greats.
Of course, it wasn’t smooth going for the star athlete in those early years. Just as Jackie Robinson would face years later when breaking baseball’s color barrier, Owens ran up against racist hostility on and off the track. Despite those hurdles, Owens managed to speed past his competitors and adversaries, setting world records that would hold for decades. One example shown in the above trailer: His 10.2 world record in the men’s 100-meter sprint, set at the NCAAs in Chicago on June 1936 (two months before the Olympics), stood for 20 years.
Ultimately Owens’s star was as bright as it was fleeting. Soon after he made history in Berlin he was stripped of his amateur status and his running career was sadly cut short, making his lone Olympic games the pinnacle of his career and fame.
Race, also with Jason Sudeikis, William Hurt, and Jeremy Irons, runs into theaters Feb. 19.