1968 Olympics: Iconic Moments

The 1968 Mexico City Olympics were quite possibly the most influential and revolutionary Olympics.

The Games were broadcasted in color for the first time; they were held in Latin America for the first time; it would be the first Games that athletes would be drug tested; high altitude created conditions for nearly unbreakable records; and the civil rights movement caused the world to stop and take notice.

Here are some of the most iconic moments from those Games:

20-year-old Enriqueta Basilio became the first woman to light the Olympic cauldron.
Mexico City was the first Olympics to be broadcast live and in color.
For the first time ever, the Fosbury flop took the world by storm. Dick Fosbury won the men’s high jump with a new style of jump now named after him.
Vera Caslavska took home four golds and two silver medals, defeating Soviet gymnasts two months after the Soviet invasion of her home, Czechoslovakia.
At the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, U.S. boxer George Foreman defeated Russia’s Ionas Chepulis to take home the gold.
After winning 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle, Debbie Meyer became the first female swimmer to take gold in three individual events.
U.S. track and field athlete Wyomia Tyus won the 100m in back to back Olympics - 1964 and 1968 - becoming the first athlete to do so.
Breaking the world record for the long jump, US track and field athlete Bob Beamon recorded an amazing 8.90-meter jump.
Quite possibly the most iconic moment of any Olympics, the black power salute. Tommie Smith and John Carlos, after taking gold and bronze in the 200 meter dash, raised their fists during the national anthem.
On Sunday Oct. 27, the revolutionary Mexico City 1968 Olympics came to an end with the closing ceremony.

 

Photos courtesy Getty Images