Logo for the 1968 Summer Olympics, designed by Lance Wyman
|Host city||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Athletes||5,516 (4,735 men, 781 women)|
|Events||172 in 18 sports (24 disciplines)|
|Stadium||Estadio Olímpico Universitario|
The 1968 Summer Olympics (Spanish: Juegos Olímpicos de Verano de 1968), officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held from 12 to 27 October 1968 in Mexico City, Mexico. These were the first Olympic Games to be staged in Latin America and the first to be staged in a Spanish-speaking country. They were also the first Games to use an all-weather (smooth) track for track and field events instead of the traditional cinder track. This was also the first example of the Olympics exclusively using electronic timekeeping equipment.
The 1968 Games were the third to be held in the last quarter of the year, after the 1956 Games in Melbourne and the 1964 Games in Tokyo. The 1968 Mexican Student Movement was crushed days prior, hence the Games were correlated to the government's repression.
The United States won the most gold and overall medals for the last time until 1984.
On 18 October 1963, at the 60th IOC Session in Baden-Baden, West Germany, Mexico City finished ahead of bids from Detroit, Buenos Aires and Lyon to host the Games.
|1968 Summer Olympics bidding results|
The 1968 torch relay recreated the route taken by Christopher Columbus to the New World, journeying from Greece through Italy and Spain to San Salvador Island, Bahamas, and then on to Mexico.American sculptor James Metcalf, an expatriate in Mexico, won the commission to forge the Olympic torch for the 1968 Summer Games.
After the 1964 refusal to participate, South Africa - under its new leader John Vorster - had made diplomatic overtures to improve relations with neighbouring countries and internationally, suggesting legal changes to allow South Africa to compete with an integrated, multiracial team internationally. The nominal obstacle behind South Africa's exclusion thus removed, the country was thus provisionally invited to the Games, on the understanding that all segregation and discrimination in sport would be eliminated by the 1972 Games. However, African countries and African American athletes promised to boycott the Games if South Africa was present, and Eastern Bloc countries threatened to do likewise. In April 1968 the IOC conceded that "it would be most unwise for South Africa to participate".It was thus the first Olympics where South Africa was positively excluded, which endured until the 1992 Olympics.
Responding to growing social unrest and protests, the government of Mexico had increased economic and political suppression, against labor unions in particular, in the decade building up to the Olympics. A series of protest marches in the city in August gathered significant attendance, with an estimated 500,000 taking part on August 27. President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz ordered the occupation[ by whom? ] of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in September, but protests continued. Using the prominence brought by the Olympics, students gathered in Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco to call for greater civil and democratic rights and showed disdain for the Olympics with slogans such as ¡No queremos olimpiadas, queremos revolución! ("We don't want Olympics, we want revolution!").
Ten days before the start of the Olympics, the government ordered the gathering in Plaza de las Tres Culturas to be broken up. Some 5000 soldiers and 200 tankettes surrounded the plaza. Hundreds of protesters and civilians were killed and over 1000 were arrested. At the time, the event was portrayed in the national media as the military suppression of a violent student uprising, but later analysis indicates that the gathering was peaceful prior to the army's advance.
On October 16, 1968, African American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the gold and bronze medalists in the men's 200-meter race, took their places on the podium for the medal ceremony wearing human rights badges and black socks without shoes, lowered their heads and each defiantly raised a black-gloved fist as the Star Spangled Banner was played, in solidarity with the Black Freedom Movement in the United States. Both were members of the Olympic Project for Human Rights. International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Avery Brundage deemed it to be a domestic political statement unfit for the apolitical, international forum the Olympic Games were intended to be. In response to their actions, he ordered Smith and Carlos suspended from the US team and banned from the Olympic Village. When the US Olympic Committee refused, Brundage threatened to ban the entire US track team. This threat led to the expulsion of the two athletes from the Games.
Peter Norman, the Australian sprinter who came second in the 200 m race, also wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge during the medal ceremony. Norman was the one who suggested that Carlos and Smith wear one glove each. His actions resulted in him being ostracized by Australian mediaand a reprimand by his country's Olympic authorities. He was not sent to the 1972 games, despite several times making the qualifying time, though opinion differ over whether that was due to the 1968 protest. When Australia hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics, he had no part in the opening ceremony, though the significance of that is also debated. In 2006, after Norman died of a heart attack, Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at Norman's funeral.
In another notable incident in the gymnastics competition, while standing on the medal podium after the balance beam event final, in which Natalia Kuchinskaya of the Soviet Union had controversially taken the gold, Czechoslovakian gymnast Věra Čáslavská quietly turned her head down and away during the playing of the Soviet national anthem. The action was Čáslavská's silent protest against the recent Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Her protest was repeated when she accepted her medal for her floor exercise routine when the judges changed the preliminary scores of the Soviet Larisa Petrik to allow her to tie with Čáslavská for the gold. While Čáslavská's countrymen supported her actions and her outspoken opposition to Soviet control (she had publicly signed and supported Ludvik Vaculik's "Two Thousand Words" manifesto), the new regime responded by banning her from both sporting events and international travel for many years and made her an outcast from society until the fall of communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
The 1968 Summer Olympic program featured 172 events in the following 18 sports:
The organizers declined to hold a judo tournament at the Olympics, even though it had been a full-medal sport four years earlier. This was the last time judo was not included in the Olympic games.
East Germany and West Germany competed as separate entities for the first time at a Summer Olympiad, and would remain so through 1988. Barbados competed for the first time as an independent country. Also competing for the first time in a Summer Olympiad were British Honduras (now Belize), Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (as Congo-Kinshasa), El Salvador, Guinea, Honduras, Kuwait, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Sierra Leone, and the United States Virgin Islands. Singapore returned to the Games as an independent country after competing as part of the Malaysian team in 1964. Suriname and Libya actually competed for the first time (in 1960 and 1964, respectively, they took part in the Opening Ceremony, but their athletes withdrew from the competition.)
|Participating National Olympic Committees|
|OC||Opening ceremony||●||Event competitions||1||Gold medal events||CC||Closing ceremony|
|Daily medal events||2||5||6||9||13||10||17||20||14||5||12||8||16||34||1||172|
North Korea withdrew from the 1968 Games because of two incidents that strained its relations with the IOC. First, the IOC had barred North Korean track and field athletes from the 1968 Games because they had participated in the rival Games of the New Emerging Forces (GANEFO) in 1966. Secondly, the IOC had ordered the nation to compete under the name "North Korea" in the 1968 Games, whereas the country itself would have preferred its official name: "Democratic People's Republic of Korea".
These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1968 Games. Host Mexico won 9 medals in total.
|Totals (10 nations)||133||114||117||364|
The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are normally held every four years, alternating between the Summer and Winter Olympics every two years in the four-year period.
The Summer Olympic Games also known as the Games of the Olympiad, are a major international multi-sport event normally held once every four years. The Games were first held in 1896 in Athens, Greece, and were most recently held in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) organises the Games and oversees the host city's preparations. In each Olympic event, gold medals are awarded for first place, silver medals are awarded for second place, and bronze medals are awarded for third place; this tradition began in 1904. The Winter Olympic Games were created out of the success of the Summer Olympics.
The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXI Olympiad and commonly known as Montréal 1976, were an international multi-sport event held from July 17 to August 1, 1976 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Montreal was awarded the rights to the 1976 Games at the 69th IOC Session in Amsterdam on May 12, 1970, over the bids of Moscow and Los Angeles. It was the first and, so far, only Summer Olympic Games to be held in Canada. Toronto hosted the 1976 Summer Paralympics the same year as the Montreal Olympics, which still remains the only Summer Paralympics to be held in Canada. Calgary and Vancouver later hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988 and 2010, respectively.
Věra Čáslavská was a Czechoslovak artistic gymnast and Czech sports official. She won a total of 22 international titles between 1959 and 1968 including seven Olympic gold medals, four world titles and eleven European championships. Čáslavská is the most decorated Czech gymnast in history and is one of only two female gymnasts, along with Soviet Larisa Latynina, to win the all-around gold medal at two consecutive Olympics.
The 1992 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad and commonly known as Barcelona '92, were an international multi-sport event held from 25 July to 9 August 1992 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Beginning in 1994, the International Olympic Committee decided to hold the Summer and Winter Olympics in alternating even-numbered years. 1992 was the last year in which both the Summer and Winter Olympics were staged. The 1992 Summer Games were the first since the end of the Cold War, and the first unaffected by boycotts since the 1972 Summer Games. 1992 was also the first year South Africa was re-indicted into the Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee, after a thirty-two year ban from participating in international sport.
The 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad and commonly known as Moscow 1980, were an international multi-sport event held from 19 July to 3 August 1980 in Moscow, Soviet Union, in present-day Russia. The Games were the first to be staged in Eastern Europe, and remain the only Summer Olympics held there, as well as the first Olympic Games to be held in a Slavic language-speaking country. They were also the only Summer Olympic Games to be held in a communist country until 2008 in China. These were the final Olympic Games under the IOC Presidency of Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin.
The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from 26 August to 11 September 1972.
The 1964 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVIII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held from 10 to 24 October 1964 in Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo had been awarded the organization of the 1940 Summer Olympics, but this honour was subsequently passed to Helsinki due to Japan's invasion of China, before ultimately being cancelled due to World War II.
The 1960 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XVII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held from 25 August to 11 September 1960 in Rome, Italy. Rome had previously been awarded the administration of the 1908 Summer Olympics, but following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906, the city had no choice but to decline and pass the honour to London. The Soviet Union won the most gold and overall medals at the 1960 Games.
The 1956 Summer Olympics were an international multi-sport event held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, from 22 November to 8 December 1956, with the exception of the equestrian events, which were held in Stockholm, Sweden, in June 1956.
The 1928 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the IX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that was celebrated from 28 July to 12 August 1928 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The city of Amsterdam had previously bid for the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games, but was obliged to give way to war-torn Antwerp in Belgium for the 1920 Games and Pierre de Coubertin's Paris for the 1924 Games.
Tommie C. Smith is an American former track & field athlete and former wide receiver in the American Football League. At the 1968 Summer Olympics, Smith, aged 24, won the 200-meter sprint finals and gold medal in 19.83 seconds – the first time the 20-second barrier was broken officially. His Black Power salute with John Carlos atop the medal podium to protest racism and injustice against African-Americans in the United States caused controversy, as it was seen as politicizing the Olympic Games. It remains a symbolic moment in the history of the Black Power movement.
Lee Edward Evans is an American Olympian from the 1968 Summer Olympics where he ran track and was part of the boycott and black power movement.
Vincent "Vince" Edward Matthews is an American former sprinter, winner of two Olympic gold medals, at the 1968 Summer Olympics and 1972 Summer Olympics.
John Wesley Carlos is an American former track and field athlete and professional football player. He was the bronze-medal winner in the 200 meters at the 1968 Summer Olympics, and his Black Power salute on the podium with Tommie Smith caused much political controversy. He went on to tie the world record in the 100-yard dash and beat the 200 meters world record. After his track career, he enjoyed a brief stint in the Canadian Football League but retired due to injury.
At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, 36 athletics events were contested, 24 for men and 12 for women. There were a total number of 1031 participating athletes from 93 countries.
During their medal ceremony in the Olympic Stadium in Mexico City on October 16, 1968, two African-American athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, each raised a black-gloved fist during the playing of the US national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner". While on the podium, Smith and Carlos, who had won gold and bronze medals respectively in the 200-meter running event of the 1968 Summer Olympics, turned to face the US flag and then kept their hands raised until the anthem had finished. In addition, Smith, Carlos, and Australian silver medalist Peter Norman all wore human-rights badges on their jackets.
Wayne Curtis Collett was an African-American Olympic sprinter. Collett won a silver medal in the 400 m at the 1972 Summer Olympics. During the medal ceremony Collett and winner Vincent Matthews talked to each other, shuffled their feet, stroked their chins and fidgeted while the US national anthem played, leading many to believe it was a Black Power protest like the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
The Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) was an American organization established by sociologist Harry Edwards and others, including noted Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos, in October 1967. The aim of the organization was to protest against racial segregation in the United States and elsewhere, and racism in sports in general.
The 200 metres at the Summer Olympics has been contested since the second edition of the multi-sport event. The men's 200 m has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1900 and the women's 200 m has been held continuously since its introduction at the 1948 Games. It is the most prestigious 200 m race at elite level. The competition format typically has three or four qualifying rounds leading to a final race between eight athletes.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1968 Summer Olympics .|
| Summer Olympic Games |
XIX Olympiad (1968)