NHL

1968 - Summer Olympics XIX (Mexico City, Mexico)



Medal Standings

  Gold Silver Bronze Total
United States 45 28 34 107
USSR 29 32 30 91
Hungary 10 10 12 32
West Germany 5 11 10 26
East Germany 9 9 7 25
Japan 11 7 7 25
Australia 5 7 5 17
Italy 3 4 9 16
France 7 3 5 15
Romania 4 6 5 15
 
Canada 1 3 1 5

The 1968 Games didn't start without controversy. Just ten days before the Opening Ceremony, the Mexican army surrounded a group of students who were protesting against the Mexican government at the Plaza of Three Cultures and opened fire into the crowd. Over 250 people were killed and over 1,000 were wounded.

There were also political statements made. Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos won the gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter race. When they stood on the victory platform during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner, they each raised one hand in a Black Power salute and were later expelled from the Games. The IOC stated, "The basic principle of the Olympic Games is that politics plays no part whatsoever in them. U.S. athletes violated this universally accepted principle...to advertise domestic political views."

American Dick Fosbury also raised some eyebrows for his jumping technique, going over the high jump bar backwards and head first for the "Fosbury flop."

Canadian Medal Winners

  Medal Event
J. Day / J. Edler / T. Gayford Gold Jumping, Team
Ralph Hutton Silver 400 m freestyle swimming
Elaine Tanner Silver 100m backstroke swimming
Elaine Tanner Silver 200m backstroke swimming
E. Tanner/M. Corson/A. Coughlan/M. Lay Bronze 4x100m Freestyle Relay Swimming

Many athletes felt that the high altitude of Mexico City affected the events, helping some athletes and hindering others. In response to complaints about the high altitude, Avery Brundage, the IOC president, stated, "The Olympic Games belong to all the world, not the part of it at sea level."

It was at the 1968 Olympic Games that drug testing debuted.

Though these Games were filled with political statements, they were very popular Games. About 5,500 athletes participated representing 112 countries.



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