Read Spiegel Online for a fascinating history of Adidas. When black sprinter Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics he was wearing shoes made by brothers Adolf (Adi) and Rudolf Dassler, who came from a shoe-making town in Bavaria. Eight years later, Allied tanks were being blown apart by an anti-tank rocket launcher, known as the “Panzerschreck” (“Tank Terror”) – which was manufactured in the Dassler brothers’ shoe factory. When the Americans eventually rolled into town, they were dissuaded by Adi’s wife not to destroy the factory, and instead they set up base bought all the shoes they could carry… and the rest is, as they say, history (and a great idea for a younger-skewing history documentary).
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