Former President Richard Nixon smiling and waving
American Republican Party politician Richard Nixon (1913-1994) waves to delegates and spectators after winning the Republican Party nomination for President at the 1968 Republican National Convention at Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, United States on 8th August 1968. (Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Watch Archive The 1968 Olympics in Mexico City

A year to remember: 1968 was momentous for civil, social rights and athlete activism

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the seminal moment of the Mexico City Games, when Americans John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised a black-gloved fist from the medals podium, GlobalSport Matters will look back during the month of October at the year from a global sporting perspective. From the World Series helping a wounded Detroit heal to athletic innovations that trace their origins to those Olympics, 1968 served as a pivot point in the role sports plays in society and introduced the modern era of athlete activism.

To understand the importance of what Smith and Carlos represented at those Games, it is necessary to look back at the year 1968 through the lens of war, political upheaval and change.

Lamar Smith is a graduate sports journalism student at Arizona State University

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