The courage of Peter Norman during an anti-racism protest by two of his fellow athletes at the 1968 Mexico Olympics should not be overlooked, writes James Vine
What a shame that yet another story has been written (Racism has been the grinding backdrop to my life. Is a different future now possible?, 26 June) about that iconic photograph of the medal ceremony for the 200m in the 1968 Mexico Olympics, without giving credit to the dignity and courage shown by the silver medallist, Peter Norman of Australia – a country that had strict apartheid laws, almost as strict as South Africa.
Tommie Smith and John Carlos had asked Norman before the ceremony if he believed in human rights. Norman said he did. They asked him if he believed in God, and he, who had been in the Salvation Army, said he believed strongly in God. “We knew that what we were going to do was far greater than any athletic feat, and he said ‘I’ll stand with you’,” remembers John Carlos. “I expected to see fear in Norman’s eyes, but instead we saw love.”