Iconic Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos will finally be recognized for their achievements by the very organization that expelled them over a half-century ago.
The Olympic Committee will be inducting both Smith and Carlos into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame on November 1, NBC Sports reports.
The two men were kicked out after raising a Black Power fist on the medals podium at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, creating one of the most iconic moments in sports history.
But at the time, the organization succumbed to the pressure and sent the two men home, despite Smith breaking the world record in the 200-meter race at the games, the Washington Post notes.
“That sparked a swirl of activity from Olympic officials. The USOPC initially decided against a suspension, intending to issue a warning to the rest of the American athletes competing in Mexico,” The Post reports. “The International Olympic Committee demanded a stronger response, though, fearing ‘that racial dissension might spread to other delegations if USOC refused to suspend Smith and Carlos,’ according to a dispatch sent from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City at the time.”
It’s about time the committee made its course correction. Congrats to the men who made history that still inspires today.