MEXICO 1968• The 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Mexico.• The Games of the Nineteenth Olympiad were the highest and most controversial ever held.
ATTENDANCE • Nations 112 (+19) Competitors 5516 (+365) Sports 18 (-1) Events 172 (+9) 12 to 27 October, 1968 hosted by Mexico City, Mexico
THE MASSACRE• Only ten days before the 1968 Olympic Games were to open, the Mexican army surrounded a group of students who were protesting against the Mexican government at the Plaza of Three Cultures and opened fire into the crowd. It is estimated that 267 were killed and over 1,000 were wounded.
FIRST WOMAN WHO FLAMES LIGHTING • Women had been competing at the games since xxxx but it wasnt until 1968 that the honor of lighting the Olympic flame in the stadium was handed to a female athlete. The honor went to Mexicos national 80m hurdle champion Norma Enriqueta Basilo de Silva. She went on to a career in politics and sport and carried the torch again when the Athens games of 2004 took the relay to all the host nations since the first Games when it returned to Mexico City
THE BLACK POWER SALUTE • During the Olympic Games, political statements were also made. Tommie Smith and John Carlos (both from the U.S.) won the gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the 200-meter race. When they stood (barefoot) upon the victory platform, during the playing of the "Star Spangled Banner," they each raised one hand, covered by a black glove, in a Black Power salute (picture).
THE BLACK POWER SALUTE II• Their gesture was meant to bring attention to the conditions of blacks in the United States. This act, since it went against the ideals of the Olympic Games, caused the two athletes to be expelled from the Games. The IOC stated, "The basic principle of the Olympic Games is that politics plays no part whatsoever in them. U.S. athletes violated this universally accepted principle to advertise domestic political views."
FOSBURY FLOP • Dick Fosbury (United States) drew attention not because of any political statement, but because of his unorthodox jumping technique. Though there had been several techniques previously used to get over the high jump bar, Fosbury jumped over the bar backwards and head first. This form of jumping became known as the "Fosbury flop."
BEAMON’S RECORD• Bob Beamon (United States) made headlines by an amazing long jump. Known as an erratic jumper because he often took off with the wrong foot, Beamon tore down the runway, jumped with the correct foot, cycled through the air with his legs, and landed at 8.90 meters (making a world record 63 centimeters beyond the old record).
HIGH ALTITUDE • Many athletes felt that the high altitude of Mexico City affected the events, helping some athletes and hindering others. In response to complaints about the high altitude, Avery Brundage, the IOC president, stated, "The Olympic Games belong to all the world, not the part of it at sea level."**
FIRST DRUG TESTING• It was at the 1968 Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall Olympic Games that drug testing debuted.• The athlete in question was Swedish modern pentathlete Hans- Gunnar Liljenwall who after his team had taken bronze in the team event was disqualified for having taken alcohol before the shooting element.
MOST POPULAR GAMES • Though these Games were filled with political statements, they were very popular Games. Approximately 5,500 athletes participated, repres enting 112 countries.
BOWLS MAKE THE GAMES• As someone how does play lawn bowls I am somewhat frustrated that the sport is not included in the Olympic programmed. It is of course one of the Commonwealth Games. However, Tel Aviv saw the introduction of the game for the Paralympics.
MORE RECORDSDebbie Meyers three Wyomia Tyus becoming theindividual swimming gold first woman to win back-to-medals. back golds in the 100 meters.