Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Avery Brundage - A Life In Sport

It's forty years since Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave their Black Power salute on the Olympic rostrum, the most enduring image in the history of the Games.

The documentary, Black Power Salute, filled us in on the background and the characters involved in the event.

It also introduced me to a new villain. Avery Brundage was the International Olympic Committee president at the time. He was fiercely against involving politics in sport and expelled both Smith and Carlos from the Olympic Village and then made sure they were suspended from the US Olympic team.

See if you can spot the difference between the damning biography of Brundage on Wikipedia and the "non-political" stance taken by the Olympic Movement.

Buggered if I can.


  1. I remember this well and also being condemned by every single one of my colleagues the following day when I expressed support.

    It was only recently that I read about the Australian silver medalist who also sympathised.

  2. The Wikipedia page on Peter Norman is an education, too. An Australian hero.

  3. He sounds like the "Scales of Justice". It says he was pro-Nazi. He could have gone on to run Formula 1 surely?

  4. He scratched Hitler's back, so Hitler scratched his.

    Yes, it does sound like Mosley's tapes.

  5. Said Brundage: "The Berlin Games were the finest in modern history...I will accept no dispute over that fact".

    Good ol' Jesse Owens, eh?

  6. I think Brundage preferred the white power salute.