Two black American athletes have made history at the Mexico Olympics by staging a silent protest against racial discrimination.
Tommie Smith and John Carlos, gold and bronze medallists in the 200m, stood with their heads bowed and a black-gloved hand raised as the American National Anthem played during the victory ceremony.
The pair both wore black socks and no shoes and Smith wore a black scarf around his neck. They were demonstrating against continuing racial discrimination of black people in the United States.
As they left the podium at the end of the ceremony they were booed by many in the crowd.
At a press conference after the event Tommie Smith, who holds seven world records, said: "If I win I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say 'a Negro'. We are black and we are proud of being black.
"Black America will understand what we did tonight."
Smith said he had raised his right fist to represent black power in America, while Carlos raised his left fist to represent black unity. Together they formed an arch of unity and power.
He said the black scarf represented black pride and the black socks with no shoes stood for black poverty in racist America.
Within a couple of hours the actions of the two Americans were being condemned by the International Olympic Committee.
A spokesperson for the organisation said it was "a deliberate and violent breach of the fundamental principles of the Olympic spirit
Munich, West Germany
August 26 to September 10, 1972
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