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Monday, October 20, 2008

Peter Norman- The Other Man on the Podium

I love stories that touch upon unexpected perspectives or the details of the poor guy in the background who otherwise vanishes into the annals of history, so I was delighted to read this BBC article about the third man on the podium during the historic 1968 Olympic moment when the other two men raised their fists to signify Black Power. An Australian named Peter Norman, his life took some tragic turns before his eventual death. I thought it was a very poignant peek into an otherwise sadly ignored gentleman's life. See that badge on his chest next to his well-earned silver medal? It cost him dearly. So sad to think that a man could be punished so severely for wearing a badge for Olympic Project for Human Rights, given to him by one of his fellow athletes. It symbolized protest against racial segregation and discrimination.
I think I smell a movie in the making... Just don't let Disney make it, for God's sake. Then again, I don't think Disney would touch a movie that involved Black Panther gestures... Man, now that I think about it, it would make a cheesy-ass movie. I hope it never happens. It was cool enough as a fragment of real history, best not cheese it up.


Jawahir Jewels (JJ) said...

i read about that too ... it is very touching and he deserved to be mentioned

xeila said...

That's a really interesting story. I'd never heard of him before, and in fact, I never really knew much about the story in general. It's cool to learn that Norman was against racial inequality as well.