Tag Archives: Tommie Smith

Highways and Byways of History

Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their arms in a black power salute on the dais at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

The photo of that moment is apparently one of the most remembered photos of the 1960s in America.

This recent story in The Guardian reminded me of Australian sprinter Peter Norman, the third man on the dais that day. Norman died in 2006. None of the three Smith, Carlos, and Norman went on to the fortune and fame that athletes so often enjoy today. Indeed Norman endured much hardship.

The Age‘s account of his funeral in October 2006 has a poignant photo of Smith and Carlos carrying their mate’s coffin.

As Carlos reminded Australians that day we “need to tell our kids the story of Peter Norman.” Norman’s story has been told a few times but I think it should be told more often. Still waiting too for a big screen version of Smith and Carlos’s stories.

Postscript August 14, 2012: Here is another story about Norman: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/the-hero-too-many-of-us-still-dont-know-20120813-244vg.html