Premier

Olympic Legend To Be Honoured At Lakeside Stadium

08 October 2018

The Andrews Labor Government has announced that Victoria’s Peter Norman will be immortalised with a statue to be erected in his honour at Lakeside Stadium.

Mr Norman is famous for being the 1968 Mexico City Olympic silver medallist and the third athlete pictured in the famous 1968 Olympics Black Power saluteExternal Link photograph.

Mr Norman had a stellar athletics career highlighted by his 20.06 second run to snare silver in Mexico City which remains the Oceanian 200 metres recordExternal Link .

However, his performance was overshadowed at the time by what is now seen as a courageous and selfless gesture of support for first placed Afro-American track athlete Tommie Smith and third place compatriot John Carlos.

Both Americans made a Black Power salute on the podium while Norman wore a badge of support during the medal ceremony in symbolic recognition of the United States civil rights movement at the time.

On his return to Australia, Mr Norman was shunned, unofficially sanctioned and ridiculed for his part in the event, leading to future reprisals including his exclusion from the 1972 Olympic Games despite completing an adequate qualifying time.

However, his gesture of good will was never forgotten. On the day of his funeral, 9 October 2006, The USA Track and Field Federation declared that day forth as Peter Norman Day.

On the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, the Labor Government is honouring a man who stood up for what’s right and inspired so many with his stance on and off the track.

The Labor Government recognises the power of sport to break barriers, and the role athletes can play in inspiring more Victorians to come together, join local clubs and get active through sports like athletics.

Through our Supporting Victorian Sport and Recreation Program, the Labor Government is backing Little Athletics Victoria and Athletics Victoria by kicking in $80,000 a year to help increase participation especially amongst women, girls, Aboriginal Victorians and CALD groups.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport John Eren

“Victoria’s reputation as a sporting capital and for sporting integrity is built on the back of sporting heroes like Peter Norman.”

“We’re delighted to honour this legend who led by example on and off the track, inspiring millions to follow in his footsteps.”

"Peter Norman stood up when others stood by – he deserves this honour and to be immortalised so his name and legacy live on forever.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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