Peter Norman to get statue in Melbourne
Fifty years after playing a key role in one of the most iconic sporting moments of the 20th century, the late Australian sprinter and human rights advocate Peter Norman will be honoured with a statue in Melbourne.
After finishing second in the 200m at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Norman stood in solidarity on the dais with American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who bowed their heads and raised black-gloved fists to raise awareness of racial inequality.
Norman wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights pin on his tracksuit after telling gold medallist Smith and third placegetter Carlos he supported their stance.
Aussie Hero Peter Norman To Receive Statue 50 Years After Black Power Salute
Peter Norman, the Australian sprinter who silently supported African-Americanathletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their iconic Black Power salute at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, will finally be honoured with a statue in his hometown of Melbourne.
Athletics Australia and the Victorian Government today announced Norman will be immortalised with the statue at Albert Park’s Lakeside Stadium, fifty years after he set the Australian 200m sprint record – and sealed his fate as a pariah in his home nation.
Norman surprised the world when he charged his way to a silver medal at the Olympics with a time of 20.06 seconds, but what happened next defined his career and legacy.
Smith, who won gold, and Carlos, who won bronze, had planned to wear black gloves and raise their fists on the Olympic dais to show their support for the civil rights movement in America, and to oppose the racism faced in their communities.
Peter Norman Honoured with Lakeside Stadium Statue
PETER NORMAN: Australia’s 200 metre sprint record holder, the late Peter Norman, will be honoured with the striking of a bronze statue at Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne.
Athletics Australia and the Victorian Government have partnered to create the work which recognises Peter Norman’s support for American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos during their silent civil rights protest on the medal dais at the 1968 Mexico Olympics as well as his athletic achievements.
Peter’s time of 20.06 seconds recorded when picked up a silver medal behind Tommie Smith remains the Australian record 50 years later.
Earlier this year the AOC announced a posthumous Order of Merit which was presented to members of Peter’s family in June this year.
AOC President John Coates, AC welcomed this latest recognition from Athletics Australia and the Victorian Government.
“The AOC received such positive feedback following our decision to award Peter a posthumous Order of Merit. Peter’s very proud family and Tommie Smith himself kindly acknowledged the gesture.
“His remarkable achievements as an athlete were inevitably dwarfed by his support for Tommie and John Carlos.
“Peter left us in 2006 but he has a unique place in our sporting history. It was a simple act, standing with those athletes, wearing their badge and telling them he supported them.”