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Peter Norman      
 
The greatest australian sprinter  - A silent hero 
 
After more than 40 years his Mexico City Olympic games 200 meters timing nowadays remains the number one in Australia. The 20.06 sec. he clocked in the final is still the fastest time in which any Australian has covered the distance. 
 
My hope is that one day they will add even Peter Norman in the statue they dedicated to salute Mexico City 1968 in San José State University (CA). Only in that way that monument has a sense. 
 
 
 
Full name: Peter George Norman 
Gender: Male 
Height: 5'10" (178 cm) 
Weight: 161 lbs (73 kg) 
Born: June 15, 1942 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 
Died: October 3, 2006 in Williamstown, Victoria, Australia 
Affiliations: East Melbourne Harriers 
Country: AUS Australia    
 
Personal Best: 200 - 20.06 (1968).   
 
Peter George Norman (June 15, 1942 – October 3, 2006) was an Australian track athlete best known for winning the silver medal in the 200 metres at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. His time of 20.06 seconds still stands as the Australian 200m record. He was a five-time Australian 200m champion. He is also known for his support of John Carlos and Tommie Smith when they made their famous gesture at the 1968 Olympics medal ceremony. 
 
 
Norman grew up in Coburg, Victoria. Initially an apprentice butcher, Norman later became a teacher, and worked for the Victorian Department of Sport and Recreation towards the end of his life. Before the 1968 Olympics Norman was a trainer for West Brunswick Football Club as a way of keeping fit over winter during the athletic circuit's off season. After 1968 he played 67 games for West Brunswick between 1972 and 1977 before coaching an under 19 team in 1978. Norman kept running, but contracted gangrene in 1985 after tearing his Achilles Tendon during a training session, which nearly led to his leg being amputated. Depression and heavy drinking followed. 
 
Norman was overlooked by Australian organising authorities as being involved in any way with the 2000 Summer Olympics held in Sydney; he was however eventually part of the event after being invited by the Americans when they heard that his own country had omitted to do so. On October 17, 2003 San Jose State University unveiled a statue commemorating the 1968 Olympic protest; Norman was not included as part of the statue itself—his empty podium spot intended for others viewing the statue to "take a stand"—but was invited to deliver a speech at the ceremony. 
 
Norman died of a heart attack on October 3, 2006 in Melbourne at the age of 64. US Track and Field Federation proclaimed October 9, 2006, the date of his funeral, as Peter Norman Day. Both Smith and Carlos gave eulogies and were pallbearers at Norman's funeral. 
 
Peter Norman is the uncle to Australian film-maker and actor Matt Norman who has directed and produced the cinema-released documentary Salute about the three runners through Paramount Pictures and Transmission Films. 
 
1968 Olympics 
1968 Olympics Black Power salute 
 
The gold and bronze medalists in the 200m at the 1968 Olympics were Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos, respectively. On the medal podium, during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner", Smith and Carlos famously joined in a Black Power salute. 
 
What is less known is that Norman, a white Australian, donned a badge on the podium in support of their cause, the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR). On the way out to the medal ceremony, Norman saw the badge being worn by Paul Hoffman, a white member of the US Rowing Team, and asked him if he could wear it. It was also Norman who suggested that Smith and Carlos share the black gloves used in their salute, after Carlos left his gloves in the Olympic Village. This is the reason for Tommie Smith raising his right fist, while John Carlos raised his left. Asked about his support of Smith and Carlos' cause by the world's press, Norman said he opposed his country's government's White Australia policy. 
 
Australia's Olympic authorities reprimanded him and the Australian media ostracised him. Despite Norman running qualifying times for both the 100m and 200m during 1971/72 the Australian Olympic track team did not send him, or any other sprinters, to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, the first ever modern Olympics where no Australian sprinters participated. 
 
      
 
 
 
Peter Norman wins round one, heat six, 200 m dash, Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games, 
 
second is Roger Bambuck n.344, 
 
Dick Steane (GBR) n.424 is 3th
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Peter Norman  round one, heat six, 200 m dash, Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games, 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mexico City 1968 Olympic games. 200 m finals. From right: Roger Bambuck, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Larry Questad, Peter Norman, Joachim Eienherr, Edwin Roberts
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mexico City 1968 Olympic games. 200 m finals. 
 
While Tommie Smith keeps on celebrating, Peter Norman overtakes John Carlos few meters before the finish
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Going to the podium: Peter Norman, Tommie Smith and John Carlos ready to enter the Olympic games history
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Peter Norman, Tommie Smith and John Carlos in a legendary photo 
 
Mexico City 1968 Olympic games  
 
 one of the most famous images of the 20th century
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Peter Norman wearing the OPHR badge  and the 200 meters man final silver medal 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mexico City 1968 200 meters final: 
 
The photofinish
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mexico City 1968 200 meters final: 
 
Peter is the third one from left
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mexico City 1968 200 meters final: 
 
Peter takes silver burning Carlos in the last meters
 
 
 
 
 
Mexico City 1968 200 meters final: 
 
Peter taking silver
 
 
Mexico City 1968 200 meters final: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mexico City 1968 200 meters final: 
 
Peter taking silver  
Peter taking silver
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
From left: 
 
John Carlos, Peter Norman, Tommie Smith
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Many years later: Peter Norman and his silver medal  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Many years later: 
 
John Carlos 
Tommie Smith 
and 
Peter Norman still togheter  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Peter Norman  
 
Lee Evans 
 
John Carlos  
 
Tommie Smith
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Peter Norman's book  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tommie Smith, Peter Norma and    John Carlos
 
 
 
 
 
 
His last ride. 
 
Tommie Smith and John Carlos carry the coffin