Activism, Photography, Politics, Sports

The forgotten story behind this photo from the 1968 Olympics

Black salute 1968 Olympics

I will admit that I never paid any attention to the third Caucasian sprinter in the above photo. He is Peter Norman, the Australian sprinter who won the silver medal in the 200 meters sprint event at the 1968 Olympics. I never noticed that he wore a button promoting the Olympic Project for Human Rights campaign.

He paid a heavy price for wearing that button. According to published reports, Norman was left off Australia’s team in the 1972 Olympics in Munich despite running times that would have qualified him. He was also left out of any role in the 2000 Sydney Games.

In 2012, Australia formally apologized to Norman, with one MP telling Parliament that Norman’s gesture “was a moment of heroism and humility that advanced international awareness for racial inequality.”

All information for this post gathered from this article published by the Toronto Star.

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Sports

Rio Olympics

Wow! Canadian swim team is doing amazing! They have won six medals already.

Penny Oleksiak wins gold medal in 100-metre freestyle. It’s Canada’s first Olympic title in the swimming pool since Mark Tewksbury won the 100 back in Barcelona 24 years ago.

Penny Oleksiak wins gold

Penny Oleksiak wins gold

My favorite team at the Olympics is the Refugee Team.

Refugee team

Olympic Refugee Team

Yusra Mardini is one of the members of this team. Mardini was a talented swimmer in war-torn Damascus and professionally backed by the Syrian Olympic Committee. Damascus became increasingly unstable and Mardini and her sister Sarah eventually left Syria, travelling through Lebanon and Turkey before trying to reach Greece.

Yusra Mardini IOC

Yusra Mardini

Thirty minutes after setting off from Turkey, the motor on their boat, which was meant for six people but carrying 20, began to fail. Most of those on board it could not swim. With no other alternative, Mardini, Sarah and two strong swimmers jumped into the sea and swam for three hours in open water to stop their dinghy from capsizing, eventually reaching Lesbos.  After Lesbos, Mardini and Sarah travelled through Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Austria before arriving at their final destination: Germany.

“We were the only four who knew how to swim,” she said of the experience. “I had one hand with the rope attached to the boat as I moved my two legs and one arm. It was three and half hours in cold water. Your body is almost like … done. I don’t know if I can describe that.”

Notes:

All information about Mardini was taken from this article by the Independent.

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