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.