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Thu May 20, 2021, 06:37 AM

Record-setting sprinter, Olympic activist Lee Evans dies

Source: AP

Lee Evans, the record-setting sprinter who wore a black beret in a sign of protest at the 1968 Olympics then went onto a life of humanitarian work in support of social justice, died Wednesday. He was 74.

USA Track and Field confirmed Evans' death. The San Jose Mercury News reported that Evans' family had started a fundraiser in hopes of bringing him back to the U.S. from Nigeria, where he coached track, to receive medical care after he suffered a stroke last week.

Evans became the first man to crack 44 seconds in the 400 meters, winning the gold medal at the Mexico City Games in 43.86. His victory came shortly after his teammates, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, were sent home from the Olympics for raising their fists on the medals stand.

In later interviews, Evans said an official warned him not do anything similar. He took a different approach, wearing a black beret to show support for the Black Panther Party and other civil rights organizations.

Read more: https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/national/story/2021/may/20/record-setting-sprinter-olympic-activist-lee-evans-dies/871908/




United States runners Larry James, left, Lee Evans, center, and Ron Freeman are shown after receiving their medals for the 400-meter race at the Mexico City Games in Mexico City, in this Oct. 18, 1968, file photo. Evans won gold, James took silver and Freeman got the bronze medal. Lee Evans, the record-setting sprinter who wore a black beret in a sign of protest at the 1968 Olympics, died Wednesday, May 19, 2021. He was 74. USA Track and Field confirmed Evans' death. The San Jose Mercury News reported that Evans' family had started a fundraiser with hopes of bringing him back to the U.S. from Nigeria, where he coached track, to receive medical care after he suffered a stroke last week.(AP Photo/File)

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Reply Record-setting sprinter, Olympic activist Lee Evans dies (Original post)
TexasTowelie May 2021 OP
hlthe2b May 2021 #1
BumRushDaShow May 2021 #2
BeyondGeography May 2021 #3
JohnSJ May 2021 #5
Bayard May 2021 #6
JohnSJ May 2021 #4
turbinetree May 2021 #7
aggiesal May 2021 #8
brush May 2021 #12
aggiesal May 2021 #14
bahboo May 2021 #9
ProfessorGAC May 2021 #10
brush May 2021 #11
ProfessorGAC May 2021 #13
brush May 2021 #15
DinahMoeHum May 2021 #16

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu May 20, 2021, 06:39 AM

1. Brave guy.

Rest in Peace

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu May 20, 2021, 07:34 AM

2. Wow. R.I.P.

I know John Carlos is still around giving interviews but wasn't aware of some of the others.

One of my uncles was a huge Olympics fan and he and my aunt used to make a point of literally traveling to wherever an Olympics was held and they used to talk about that Mexico one (and even bought and displayed a painting from there - I think of a bull IIRC, in a charge stance reminiscent of the bull-fighting that goes on there).

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu May 20, 2021, 08:39 AM

3. Here's what that awesome medal sweep looked like



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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #3)

Thu May 20, 2021, 10:51 AM

5. +++

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #3)

Thu May 20, 2021, 12:01 PM

6. It was an amazing race

In human foot racing, and horse racing, the best of the best just always have another gear to kick in.

Three heroes.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu May 20, 2021, 10:50 AM

4. I remember that well, and the racism from some of the people in the neighborhood

I came from in Iowa during a visit from college at that time.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu May 20, 2021, 12:26 PM

7. This is sad....

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu May 20, 2021, 12:59 PM

8. RIP Lee Evans. I remember Mexico City Olympics well. I was 6 years old ...

My mom & dad are from Mexico so we watched as much coverage as available.

If you haven't heard the story of Peter Norman, the Australian Silver Medal winner in the 200 meter race,
and standing on the podium with Tommie Smith and John Carlos, please read this story! Have tissues ready!



Tommie Smith and John Carlos honored Peter Norman, for what he did, and were pallbearers at his funeral and
At the funeral both Smith and Carlos gave the eulogy, where they announced that the U.S. Track and Field association had declared the day of his death to be “Peter Norman Day” – the first time in the organization’s history that such an honor had been bestowed on a foreign athlete.


Respect: Tommie Smith (left) and John Carlos carry the coffin of Peter Norman from Williamstown Town Hall in Melbourne in 2006.

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Response to aggiesal (Reply #8)

Thu May 20, 2021, 05:22 PM

12. Peter Norman caught hell too for being in solidarity with Smith and Carlos.

They both of course had hard times here too for their courageous stances against racism.

Unfortunately not that much has changed since 1968 (see Colin Kaepernick).

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Response to brush (Reply #12)

Thu May 20, 2021, 05:32 PM

14. Read the article I linked, it talks about that what Peter Norman went through in Australia ...

I was proud that Smith & Carlos were pallbearers representing the U.S.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu May 20, 2021, 02:24 PM

9. aw man...a hero of mine....

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu May 20, 2021, 04:48 PM

10. He Held That Record For 20 Years

That's the longest term for holding that record of anyone in history.
Michael Johnson held it for 17 years later on, & Butch Reynolds (who broke Lee's record) had it for 11.
Nobody else held it for more than a few years. Yet Lee held it for 20!
Don't ask me why I know this stuff.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #10)

Thu May 20, 2021, 05:16 PM

11. Tommie Smith held his 200 meter record for a long time too.

Do you know for how long? Weren't they all from San Jose State's track team, nicknamed "Speed City" IIRC correctly?

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Response to brush (Reply #11)

Thu May 20, 2021, 05:28 PM

13. That's A Weird One

Don Quarrie from Jamaica beat his mark a few years later.
But, in the late 70s, the federation started actually accepting electronic times as official, so Tommie got his record back.
So, he held it for 3 years, but when the rule changed he held it for 10 or 11, even though for 5 years he WASN'T the record holder (but he was!)
I told you it was a weird one.
Funny thing about me remembering thus track stuff.
I wasn't even a runner! I was a jumper in the field events. I couldn't give you the progression of records in events I participated in (other than knowing Bob Beamon held his long jump record for 22 or 23 years). But, from the 100 to the mile I remember all kinds of record history. Not everything but a ridiculous amount given that it's not really that important!

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #13)

Thu May 20, 2021, 05:59 PM

15. That is a weird one. I remember seeing Don Quarrie in a meet...

at Cal back in the early 70s. Valery Borsov, the Russian, ran too. I don't remember the other runners but there must have been American sprinters there too.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri May 21, 2021, 10:43 AM

16. Here's Evans and the 4 x 400 relay team at Mexico City. . .


(Evans is first man on the left)

Besides Lee Evans, Larry James and Ron Freeman from the open 400-meter race, there was Vincent Matthews (first man on the right).

Four years later, Matthews and his teammate Wayne Collett, had their own protest in Munich 1972 after they won their medals in the open 400-meter race. This took place in the aftermath of the kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes, coaches and referees by the terrorist org Black September.



Matthews and Collett got kicked off the track team and banned from the Olympics thereafter.
And Team USA had no 4 x 400 meter relay team for that event (due to a third teammate out with an injury)

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