Sport in the Americas and Caribbean and their connection to popular culture and politics:
The confluence of sport and politics on the world stage in the XIX Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, 1968
Friday, September 8, 2017 at 1:00 PM
Join Danielle and Doc – Next year will be the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic images in the history of sport and politics – the photograph of United States sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos and their black-gloved raised fists on the medal stand during the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City in support of the Olympic Project for Human Rights and in protest of the injustices and poverty in the American black community . Mexico was the first Latin American and Spanish-speaking country to host the Olympics, and the government was eager to use the Mexico City games as a way projecting the image of a modern and progressive country. But a week before the games, student protests about economic and political injustice in Mexico took a violent turn in what is now known and commemorated as the Tlatlelolco massacre where a still undetermined number of students (some estimates are from 300-400) were killed by government troops and more than a thousand arrested. Today we’ll look back at those turbulent times that are strangely similar to recent political events in both Mexico and the United States.
200 meter dash victory stand: gold-medalist, USA, Tommie Smith (center), bronze medalist, USA, John Carlos (right), silver-medalist, Australia, Peter Norman (left). Norman also supported Smith and Carlos and the Olympic Project for Human Rights but was ostracized for his political stance upon his return to Australia, much like Smith and Carlos were in the USA. Smith and Carlos carried Norman’s coffin at his funeral in 2006.
Student protests in Mexico City and the Tlatlelolco massacre prior to the opening of the 1968 Olympic Games.
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