Le­gend hon­oured

Weekend Herald - - Your Sporting Weekend -

It’s many years too late but a statue has been com­mis­sioned to hon­our Aus­tralian sprinter Peter

Nor­man, once de­scribed as the “white man in that photo”. Nor­man stood along­side as Amer­i­cans

Tom­mie Smith (cen­tre) and John Car­los, bare­foot and black-gloved, raised their fists to protest racial in­equal­ity on the podium af­ter the 200m at the 1968 Mex­ico Olympics, 50 years ago this week. Nor­man, the sil­ver medal­list, didn’t ges­ture but he wore the Olympic Project for Hu­man Rights pin on his track­suit af­ter telling the Amer­i­cans he sup­ported their stance. Nor­man was later os­tra­cized and out­cast in Aus­tralia and died in 2006 with­out many in his home coun­try fully un­der­stand­ing the full of what he’d done. A few years ago, Car­los said: “There’s no one more than him that Aus­tralia should hon­our, recog­nise and ap­pre­ci­ate.” In a coun­try that seems to need plenty of help around race is­sues, Oc­to­ber 9 will now be known as Peter Nor­man Day in Aus­tralia, as it is al­ready is in the US. And the statue in Mel­bourne will seem to right an­other in­jus­tice of sorts – a statute of Smith and Car­los was er­rected at San Jose Univer­sity a few years ago and the No 2 spot on the dais is empty – which sym­bol­ises how much of a for­got­ten ath­lete Nor­man had be­come. Nor­man's time of 20.06s in the 1968 fi­nal still stands as the Aus­tralian record.

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