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John Carlos  

Former Track and Field Athlete and Professional Football Player; 1968 Olympic Bronze Medalist

At the 1968 Olympic Trials, Carlos won the 200-meter dash in 19.92 seconds, beating world-record holder Tommie Smith and surpassing his record by 0.3 seconds. Though the record was never ratified because the spike formation on Carlos' shoes was not accepted at the time, the race reinforced his status as a world-class sprinter.

Carlos became a founding member of the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR), and originally advocated a boycott of the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games unless four conditions were met: withdrawal of South Africa and Rhodesia from the games, restoration of Muhammad Ali's world heavyweight boxing title, Avery Brundage to step down as president of the IOC, and the hiring of more African-American assistant coaches. As the boycott failed to achieve support after the IOC withdrew invitations for South Africa and Rhodesia, he decided, together with Smith, to participate but to stage a protest in case he received a medal.

Following his third-place finish behind fellow American Smith and Australian Peter Norman in the 200 at the Mexico Olympics, Carlos and Smith made headlines around the world by raising their black-gloved fists at the medal award ceremony. Both athletes wore black socks and no shoes on the podium to represent African-American poverty in the United States. In support, Peter Norman, the silver medalist who was a white athlete from Australia, participated in the protest by wearing an OPHR badge.

After the Mexico Olympics, Mr. Carlos continued his education and athletic exploits at San Jose State University. He again single handily won the NCAA Track And Field National Championship in 1969. During his stay, he also broke the world record in the hundred yard dash. After an illustrious career in track and field, Mr. Carlos was drafted by the NFL.

Following his track career, Carlos, a 15th round selection in the 1970 NFL Draft, tried professional football but a knee injury curtailed his tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. He then went on to the Canadian Football League where he played one season for the Montreal Alouettes. Following his retirement from football, Carlos worked for Puma, the United States Olympic Committee, the Organising Committee of the 1984 Summer Olympics and the City of Los Angeles.

After playing football, he was hired by the Puma company to negotiate shoe contracts with athletes in track and field. Since that time, he has worked for the Olympics, the city of Los Angeles, and presently he is working as the track and field coach, and an in-school Suspension Supervisor for Palm Springs High School in Palm Springs, California.

In 2003, he was elected to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.


John Carlos supports NFL protest movement |

John Carlos, one of the two Olympians that made the “Black Power” pose famous on the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, supports the recent NFL protests.

John Carlos, Olympic icon of change, wants more black athletes as ...

July 13, 2016 5:48pm EDT July 13, 2016 5:27pm EDT News, English, Olympics It remains among the most iconic Olympics photographs — John Carlos and ...

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