16.10.1968: in Ciudad de Mexico 1968 Summer Olympics Tommy Smith won the 200-meter sprint finals and gold medal in 19.83 seconds, John Carlos third and bronze medal in 20.19 seconds.
During the awards ceremony, Smith and Carlos gave birth to the most famous protest in the history of the Olympic Games: they got on the podium barefoot and listened to their national anthem by bowing their heads and raising a fist with a black glove, in support of the movement called Olympic Project for Human Rights and, more generally, of Black Power. After the protest, by decision of the President of the Olympic Committee Avery Brundage, Smith and Carlos were suspended by the US team with immediate effect and expelled from the Olympic village. Back at home, the two athletes suffered further retaliation, had to abandon their career and received numerous death threats.
Also the second place, the silver medal, the Australian Peter Norman, at the time of the award ceremony wore the badge of the Olympic Project for Human Rights and for this gesture he would have been discriminated against in the following years.
Born almost on the same day, Tommie Smith and John Carlos have remained in history, their gesture, now more than ever, is current and it is good to celebrate it. Happy birthday Tommie Smith and John Carlos, in the sign of the perpetual struggle against racism and discrimination.