Worldsport

The forgotten Black Power hero

Updated 9:42 AM ET, Wed April 25, 2012
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This salute made Smith and Carlos famous. But what of sprinter Peter Norman, who finished second? Salute the Movie
The 1968 Mexico Olympics began in controversial fashion. Revolution -- from Cuba to China -- was spreading across the world. AFP/Getty Images
Mexico was rocked by huge student protests just before the opening ceremony. What followed was one of the most shameful incidents in Olympic history. Hundreds of young people were gunned down. The evidence was quickly cleaned up before the athletes arrived. To this day protesters mark the anniversary of the massacre. AFP/Getty Images
Race riots had spread across the U.S. following the assassination of Martin Luther King Junior. The Vietnam War was raging, and in the same year Robert Kennedy was also assassinated. Hulton Archive
The U.S. track and field team arrived in Mexico eager to show their support to the civil rights movement back home. The world was watching to see what the team's black athletes, many of whom had received death threats, would do. AFP/Getty Images
Smith won the 200 meters but Carlos (center) was beaten by Norman (far left) on the line. Norman's time of 20 seconds flat would have won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Hulton Archive
Norman wore a pro-human rights pin badge. It was his suggestion that the two U.S. runners wore a glove each after Carlos realized he had forgotten his pair. Hulton Archive
The American athletes were sent home and given life Olympic bans. Smith returned to poverty and Carlos struggled to find work. Eventually he was hired, and later fired, as a car washer. Such was the pressure on his return, his wife committed suicide. AFP/Getty Images