Immortalised in bronze: Statue honours iconic podium protest
A new statue has been unveiled, which honours the sacrifice of Australian athlete Peter Norman when he took a stand against racial inequality at the Olympics.
It’s one of the most famous sporting photos in history. Three athletes stand side-by-side on the podium at the 1968 Mexico Olympics after placing in the 200-metre sprint.
American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos give the black power salute while Peter Norman stands beside them in solidarity, wearing the Olympic Project for Human Rights badge.
The decision to stand beside his competitors came at a high price for Peter Norman, who was never again selected to compete for his country, despite still holding the Australian record.
Now, 51 years on from his act of solidarity, the iconic moment has been immortalised in bronze.
In celebration of Peter Norman Day Athletics Australia in partnership with the Victorian Government has unveiled a statue in honour of Peter Norman.
51 years ago at the 1968 Mexico Olympics Peter set the 200m Australian record of 20.06.
— Athletics Australia (@AthsAust) October 9, 2019
Dr Andrew Leigh, who moved a motion of apology to Peter Norman in Federal Parliament in 2012, tells Alan Jones it’s “extraordinary” it’s taken this long to recognise what he did.
“The achievement of being willing to take a stand against racial inequality in 1968 at a time where that was a pretty unpopular stance.
“That willingness Alan, to go against the tide and to have that firm moral compass that tells you that racial injustice is wrong and that even at the Olympics it’s worth taking a stand.”
Click PLAY below to hear the full interview
Image: John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images