Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel uncovers the history of 1968 Olympic Medalist, Peter Norman.
John Carlos and Tommie Smith are now recognized as heroes of the civil rights movement for their raised fist protest on the medal stand at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968. But Australias Peter Norman, who stood with them during the medal ceremony, has faded into history as a mere footnote.
Prior to walking out to receive their medals, Norman overheard Carlos and Smith talking about what they planned to do. He told them that he believed in human rights and agreed to wear a protest button during the ceremony.
And for that simple act, he paid a very steep price. He was reprimanded by his country’s Olympic officials, left off of the 1972 Olympic team that went to Munich despite being Australia’s most dominant 200-meter runner, and was not even invited to participate in the Opening Ceremonies for the 2000 Games in Sydney.
In the new segment for HBO’s Real Sports, we get a nuanced look at the third man on the podium and the sacrifices that he made in believing that all human beings deserved to be treated with dignity and respect.