Mexico 1968 Olympic Games
Mexico 1968 Olympic Games - XIX Olympiad
Olympic Games Held At Extreme Altitude
At the Mexico Olympics, we had the first Summer Games to include sex testing for women. It was fitting that the Mexican hurdler Enriqueta Basilio became the first woman to light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony. While Eulalia Rolinska of Poland and Gladys de Seminario of Peru were the first women to compete in shooting.
Wyomia Tyus of the United States became the first repeat winner of the 100m. There was a more sinister, and a longer lasting image in the medal ceremony of the men's 200m; Tommie Smith and John Carlos made their symbolic black-gloved salute. You can just about see that Smith has a glove on his right hand, whereas Carlos has the other glove on his left hand.
The most popular female athlete of the 1968 Games was Vera Caslavska, the Czech gymnast. After the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia two months before the Olympics, Caslavska went into hiding for three weeks. She emerged to win four gold medals and two silvers.
The 1968 Games also saw the first drug disqualification, as a Swedish entrant in the modern pentathlon, Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, tested positive ...... for excessive alcohol.
American high jumper Dick Fosbury won gold with his 'flop' style that was to revolutionise the event and replace the conventional straddle technique.
One of those to find out just how disadvantaged most of the competitors would be was the great Australian distance runner Ron Clarke. Clarke held the world record for the 10,000m. But he was beaten as much by the altitude as the African runners lead by Temu.
The biggest cheer in the student union, where Guy watched most of the events, was when David Hemery blasted out of the blocks, obliterated the competition, and shattered the world record for the 400m hurdles.
Bob Beamon - The Perfect Jump
Bob Beamon is one of a hand full of athletes that is synonymous with an Olympic Games and an event. But how far was That Perfect Jump? Well, the official measuring device was not up to the job, it could not handle jumps of over 8.80m. When officials measured the Perfect Jump with an old-fashioned tape it recorded 8.90m, which was translated to Bob Beamon, who did not speak metric, as 29ft 2in.
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