Versione italiana | Search in site:

Peter Norman 1942 - 2006

an act of solidarity from the Mexico City podium

Peter Norman with Tommie Smith and John Carlos

Peter Norman with Tommie Smith and John Carlos

Australian athlete, during Tommie Smith and John Carlos' protest in the Olympic Games in Mexico City he showed himself sympathetic with the runners' claim, pinning on his shirt the patch of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, jumping on the second step of the podium. 

Returned to his homeland after the race, he had to face hard repercussions from an entire country, in a period of strong tensions and restrictions due to the apartheid against the aborigens. He has always refused to condemn Smith and Carlos' act of protest in exchange of the national rehabilitation. 

Isolated, discredited and excluded forever from professional competitions, despite the continuous qualifications, he never obtained a permanent job, not even as a gym teacher.

On the edge even for the Sidney Olympics in 2000, completely forgotten by his country, he died by heart attack in 2006. At the funeral Tommie Smith and John Carlos beared his coffin on their shoulders, saying him goodbye as a hero. 

Only in 2012 the Australian Parliament has approved a late declaration of apologies to Peter Norman, rehabilitating him in History. 

Don’t miss the story of the Righteous and the memory of Good

Once a month you will receive articles and events selected by Gariwo Editorial Board. Please fill out the field below and click on subscribe.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.