02/11/2018

1968

Some years somehow resonate across the ages. They go beyond four simple digits to evoke an era and define a generation.

 

1066...

 

1789...

 

1914...

 

Fifty years on, 1968 surely also falls into that category.

 

Student protests in Paris...

Paris 1968 Student Protests

 

The Prague Spring and it’s brutal suppression by the Soviet Union...

Prague Spring

 

The assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy…

MLK
Robert Kennedy
 

Man’s first flight to the moon...

Apollo Moon landing
Apollo Moon landing

 

And the iconic Mexico City Olympic Games…

Mexico 1968

A Games which brought together sport, politics and protest in a way which still seems starkly relevant some fifty years later...

Colin Kaepernick

That spirit of protest is of course immortalised in Tommy Smith and John Carlos’ podium statue; I’ll be saying more about the significance of the role of the second-placed Australian athlete, Peter Norman in next week’s blog. I will stand by you.

Tommy Smith

But I was also fascinated to read this week about that, lesser known statement associated with the Czechoslovakian Gymnast, Vera Caslavska in response to the defiling of her county by the Soviet Union, with which I opened...

Vera Caslavska

www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/45900544

 

On the field, the Mexico Games of ‘68 also witnessed some of the defining sporting moments of the age...

 

Jim Hines becoming the first man to break the 10 second barrier for 100m, still the benchmark of world class sprinting...

Jim Hines

And Bob Beamon’s incredible 8.90m long jump - a feat so remarkably far in advance of anything achieved before that it has attracted its own adjective...

Bob Beamon

Mexico 1968 also produced for me what remains the most ‘Beamonesque’ performance of any British athlete in Olympic - or indeed - any history...

 

David Hemery 400m Hurdles World Record 1968 Mexico from David Hemery on Vimeo.

 

David Hemery’s awe-inspiring 400m Hurdles victory, in World Record time, was fifty years old last week.

Athletics Weekly 

And what a pleasure and privilege it is to be still able to work alongside the man who produced that performance, and is still dedicating his life to inspiring others through the values of sport and a coaching philosophy that aims to bring out the very best in every young person...

Derek Peaple David Hemery 

www.21stcenturylegacy.com

 

Oh, and 1968 also produced this too...

Archive: