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Olympic legend to be honoured at Melbourne’s Lakeside Stadium

Olympic legend to be honoured at Melbourne’s Lakeside Stadium
October 9, 2018

The Victorian Government has announced that Olympic medallist Peter Norman will be immortalised with a statue to be erected in his honour at Lakeside Stadium.

Norman is famous for being the 1968 Mexico City Olympic silver medallist and the third athlete pictured in the famous 1968 Olympics Black Power salute photograph.

Norman had a stellar athletics career highlighted by his 20.06 second run to snare silver in Mexico City which remains the Oceanian 200 metres record.

However, his performance was overshadowed at the time by what is now seen as a courageous and selfless gesture of support for first placed Afro-American track athlete Tommie Smith and third place compatriot John Carlos.

Both Americans made a Black Power salute on the podium while Norman wore a badge of support during the medal ceremony in symbolic recognition of the United States civil rights movement at the time.

On his return to Australia, Norman was shunned, unofficially sanctioned and ridiculed for his part in the event, leading to future reprisals including his exclusion from the 1972 Olympic Games despite completing an adequate qualifying time.

However, his gesture of goodwill lives on.

To mark the day of his funeral, 9th October 2006, the USA Track and Field Federation declared that day forth as Peter Norman Day.

On the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, the Victorian Government is honouring a man who inspired so many with his stance on and off the track.

Explaining that the Victorian Government recognises the power of sport to break barriers, and the role athletes can play in inspiring more Victorians to come together, join local clubs and get active through sports like athletics, Victorian Minister for Sport John Eren stated “Victoria’s reputation ... is built on the back of sporting heroes like Peter Norman.”

“We’re delighted to honour this legend who led by example on and off the track, inspiring millions to follow in his footsteps.”

"Peter Norman stood up when others stood by - he deserves this honour and to be immortalised so his name and legacy live on forever.”

Images (top, from left): Peter Norman, Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the 200 metres winners podium at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics; and the act marked in a statue at at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, USA (below).

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4th August 2015 - AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan says the sport has zero tolerance for racism

18th June 2015 - Remembering Ron Clarke: Leisure industry innovator

11th February 2015 - Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre passes 20 years of operations

7th January 2015 - Olympic Gold medallist joins Gold Coast City Council Aquatic Management team

2nd July 2013 - Melbourne’s Lakeside Stadium to host top athletics events

27th May 2013 - Sport stars unite to stamp racism out of sport

4th October 2011 - Victoria’s new home of athletics up and running

18th November 2009 - ICC introduces anti-racism, anti-corruption codes


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