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John Simkin

Tommie Smith

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The most significant event for me took place during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Tommie Smith won gold in the 200m by setting a new world record. His team mate, John Carlos, took bronze. Both men were black Americans and after a lifetime of racial discrimination, they decided to hit back. At the medal ceremony, as The Star-Spangled Banner played, Smith raised his right, black-gloved fist to represent black power, while Carlos's raised left fist represented black unity. Peter Norman, the Australian athlete who won the silver medal, wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in sympathy. Smith and Carlos were banned from the Olympic village and received countless death threats.

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