Atlanta Buzz

Atlanta people and places

Atlanta's Candace Hill, fastest girl in the U.S., on Jessie Owens biopic "Race"

Metro Atlanta teen Candace Hill is the fastest girl in the country. Literally.

PAST COVERAGE: Record-breaking runner Candace Hill has a 4.6 GPA

The youngest American track-and-field athlete to turn pro, she broke the national high school record and World Youth Record last year with a time of 10.98 during the 100-meter at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle. (Watch her performance and listen to gobsmacked commentators marveling at the national record she set here.)

AJC video producer Ryon Horne sat down with Hill, 16, a student at  Rockdale Magnet School of Science and Technology,  to get her thoughts on "Race." The movie starring Stephan James as the great Jessie Owens is in theaters now.

Candace Hill and Stephan James at the "Race" screening in Atlanta. Photo: Ryon Horne

MORE: "Race" star Stephan James is honored to play history's heroes

Black History Month kicks off with "Race" premiere in Atlanta

Q: What was it like attending the screening?

Hill: It was such a great night. They treated me like I was a celebrity, like I was Stephan James. I did interviews, smiled for the people and all that great stuff. But when I met Stephan James, I was like, ‘You’re an actor, like you’re a celebrity. You’ve been in “Selma.” You’ve been in “Race.” You’re Stephan James.’ He was laid back and cool. It was a great experience meeting him.

Q: Did you know much about Jesse Owens before seeing the film?

Hill: Before I saw the film, all I knew about Jesse Owens was that he was African-American, he went to Germany and he won four gold medals. I didn’t know he had a family before [he went to the Olympics]. I didn’t know that he went to a predominately white college, and I didn’t know that he broke world records before even going to the Olympics. I learned a lot.

Q: What was the biggest thing you took away from watching the film?

Hill: The film showed that he was a strong character. That no matter the obstacles that he faced, no matter the pressure that he had, he still did what he wanted to do and that was going to the Olympics and proving that African-Americans can win under this much pressure and this much racism. 

Q: Would you recommend the film to your friends?

Hill: I would definitely recommend the movie for basically anybody, because you can apply [those lessons] to life situations, to school, and other sports. You can just apply it to life in general. Just doing what you want to do, working hard at it, and no matter the obstacles, you can overcome it.

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Most read

  1. 1 Ga. lawmaker duped by Sacha Baron Cohen: This is why Trump won 
  2. 2 Women accused in Applebee’s attack granted bond
  3. 3 Shooting that began in Gwinnett ends at DeKalb County gas station

About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for accessAtlanta.com.

More from AJC