Harvey is truly an "it is to laugh" kind of guy, but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while. How approriate this is an oak tree story!!!
It's true. All gold medalists were given year-old potted oaks. (whether they were "from the German people" or not, I can't say)
Tom Ecker in "Olympic Facts & Fables" says that 16 of the 130 oaks were still growing as of 2000, in 8 different countries. According to Ecker, two of Owens' trees are still alive. One's next to a HS track in Cleveland, the other is on the USC campus, because he shared it with his relay teammates.
I seem to recall that one was cut down when they enlarged the Ohio State football stadium. Anybody cast any light on that chestnut? (to mix a metaphor)