This week in Ann Arbor, a special tribute will honor a remarkable Buckeye. World Athletics, the organization overseeing global track and field events, has announced plans to celebrate Jesse Owens and his extraordinary achievements on what he famously dubbed his “Day of Days,” set to take place later today.

Let’s journey back to May 25, 1935, when the young Ohio State track and field star left an indelible mark on sports history. During the Big Ten Championships held at Michigan’s Ferry Field, Owens astounded the world by setting four world records in just 45 minutes. At the tender age of 21, Owens achieved a 9.4-second finish in the 100 yards, tying a world record. He also soared an impressive 8.13 meters in his single long jump attempt, holding the long jump world record for an astonishing 25 years. Not stopping there, Owens clinched victories in both the 220 yards (clocking in at 20.3 seconds) and the 220-yard low hurdles (finishing at 22.6 seconds), with times faster than any previous records for those distances.

In recognition of Owens’ remarkable feats, representatives from his family and track and field teams from both Michigan and Ohio State will come together to unveil a prestigious World Athletics Heritage Plaque outside Ferry Field. This plaque will replace an earlier one that had been placed in the venue’s southeast corner since 1985.

The Old Jesse Owens Plaque that is getting replaced.

Michigan’s athletic director, Warde Manuel, captured the significance of Owens’ legacy, calling him an “icon not only of American sport but also American ideals.” He expressed pride in having such revered grounds open to the public, where future generations can marvel at the footsteps of an American hero.

Although the Wolverines no longer host track and field events at Ferry Field, the space remains a gathering point for Michigan fans before football games and other occasions. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe hopes that the plaque will serve as a meaningful link between the past, present, and future of track and field, resonating with fans as they enter and exit the stadium.

“This award marks an exciting moment for our sport as we begin to weave together the global competitions, personalities, and performances that have shaped athletics’ rich history,” said Coe. “Recognizing this legacy is crucial for the future of our sport.”