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  • I was born on November 3, 1900, in the small town of Herzogenaurach, Germany

  • My mother ran her own laundry service where my older brothers and sister would help when we could.

  • We became known as the town's "laundry boys"

  • But that never bothered me because I was always distracted by my father's work

  • A few years earlier, he had to close his family's textile business

  • and was forced to work in a local factory as a shoe cobbler

  • It was difficult to see his family business gone, but if it wasn't for that,

  • I wouldn't have created one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

  • Since I can remember, I've always had a strong love for sports and it was something I was great at.

  • Not just one or two sports either.

  • Track and field, skiing, soccer, football, boxing.

  • I loved everything about every sport, but I was also bothered by the same thing in every sport.

  • The shoes.

  • Keep in mind this was 1918 and back then shoes were just shoes.

  • To me, it seemed wrong using the same shoe for sprinting and soccer as each sport was different.

  • So, I set out to revolutionize the sports world

  • by creating professional specialized sports shoes that would improve performance.

  • Unfortunately my visions were halted when World War I broke out

  • and I was drafted into the war.

  • I wasn't even 18 yet when I got drafted.

  • It was something that changed how I would live the rest of my life

  • and promised myself to never waste another minute on something I didn't fully believe in.

  • So the moment I got back I converted my mother's washroom into a shoe workshop.

  • And along with my close friend we built our own machinery

  • from a bicycle since Germany was in an economic depression.

  • It was one of the most difficult times in my life

  • not knowing if what I was doing was right,

  • whether I'd succeed or if my ideas would work or amount to anything.

  • But this was what I believed in and it was what I was meant to do.

  • One of our first shoes would be used for track.

  • I experimented with many different types of materials ranging from kangaroo leather to shark skin.

  • But in the end, I settled on cowhide

  • and attached nails that we hand filed down into spikes to the bottom of the shoe.

  • When I showed people many thought it was funny or a fluke claiming it didn't work.

  • I ignored their words believing in the product and continued my work.

  • Fortunately my older brother saw the potential and joined me

  • as he was skilled in business and marketing.

  • We created the Dassler Brothers Sport Shoe Factory.

  • In 1936 at the German Olympic Games,

  • my brother and I saw the perfect opportunity to show the world that our shoes were what athletes needed

  • We would equip athletes from all around the world with our shoes to be seen on the world stage

  • Showing our shoes worked,

  • many of our athletes would go on to win their events and positively praising our footwear

  • Our shoes reached the world stage when American Jesse Owens won

  • 4 gold medals in track with our spiked shoes.

  • The entire sporting world had never seen such shoes before and orders began to pour in.

  • But just as we opened new factories and began expanding

  • World War II broke out changing everything.

  • In order to keep the business alive, we were pressured to join the National Workers Party

  • or risk losing everything and putting over 100 employees out of work.

  • I was deeply saddened by everything.

  • What mattered to me most had always been sports and it's ability to bring people of

  • all colors and nationalities together.

  • Not wars that tore families and people apart.

  • My brother and I were drafted, but unlike my brother, I was released early in order to run the business.

  • We tried to manage our split through letters but my brother felt I wasn't handling the business well

  • and we began fighting more often.

  • Eventually, after his return from the war, we decided to split ways never speaking to each again.

  • He would become one of my biggest rivals with his own company,

  • Puma

  • With the United States looking to help the German economy recover after the war,

  • they provide me with leftover war materials so I could continue my work.

  • I had a workforce, materials, my innovative spirit, but was missing a name for my shoes.

  • I wanted to name it with the first 2 letters of my first name and the first 3 letters of my last,

  • but that was already taken

  • So when registering, I decided to add an 'I' in between.

  • officially naming my sports shoe company, Adidas.

  • It was fitting since my nickname was already 'Adi' anyway.

  • For my logo, I remembered I had created a football shoe with 3 stripes on the side added for stability.

  • I thought it was the perfect symbol showing our innovative spirit as a trademark for our products

  • and that later became the famous 3 stripes

  • For the next few years, we continued to develop new technologies always trying new ideas.

  • Even speaking with orthopedics and working directly with athletes hearing their needs,

  • what adjustments they liked or didn't

  • I think this is what set us apart from all other competing companies.

  • We listened to what the people wanted and together, we made ideas into realities bettering all sports.

  • People like Muhammad Ali and creating legendary boxing boots

  • or the revolutionary Stan Smith tennis shoes that would later become a fashion icon

  • showed the world that one shoe doesn't fit all.

  • It was always about the shoes and the people who play the sport.

  • The athletic competition, the trade, and part of the lifestyle

  • The way it brought people together, creating winners and losers and then witnessing those who lost triumph

  • and became greater pioneers of our time.

  • It is our simple belief that shoes are more than just tools

  • They are the embodiment of entire generations as a symbol of ingenuity but most of all

  • the determination never to give up.

  • My name is Adolf "Adi" Dassler

  • and I created the sportswear company

  • Adidas

I was born on November 3, 1900, in the small town of Herzogenaurach, Germany

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I Created Adidas

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    詹士緯 posted on 2019/08/04
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