Traditionally, it is the most eagerly awaited medal ceremony of the Olympic fortnight. The photographs of two black American sprinters standing on the medal podium with heads bowed and fists raised at the Mexico City Games in 1968 not only represent one of the most memorable moments in Olympic history but a milestone in the United States' civil rights movement. The two men are Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Smith was born on June 5, 1944, in Clarksville, Texas. John Carlos was born in Harlem, New York, a year later. They are forever joined by the year 1968, a year unlike any other - the assassinations of Dr Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy; anti-war protests; black power; the summer of love; the Olympics in Mexico City. Smith and Carlos, teammates at San Jose State University, represent a new breed of athlete unwilling to passively wait for progress in racial integration. The pair are stirred by the suggestion of a young sociologist friend Harry Edwards, who asks them and all the other black American athletes to join together and boycott the games. The protest, Edwards hopes, will bring attention to the fact that America's civil rights movement has not gone far enough to eliminate the injustices black Americans are facing. Edwards' group, the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR), has gained support from several world-class athletes and civil rights leaders but the all-out boycott has never materialised. Still impassioned by Edwards' words, Smith and Carlos secretly plan a non-violent protest in the manner of Martin Luther King. In the 200-metre race, Smith wins the gold medal and Carlos the bronze. As the American flag rises and the Star-Spangled Banner plays, the two close their eyes, bow their heads, and begin their protest. Smith later tells the media he raised his right, black-glove-covered fist in the air to represent black power in America while Carlos' left, black-covered fist represented unity in black America. Together they form an arch of unity and power. The black scarf around Smith's neck stands for black pride and their black socks (and no shoes) represented black poverty in racist America. While the protest seems relatively tame by today's standards, the actions of Smith and Carlos are met with such outrage they are suspended from their national team and banned from the Olympic Village. Many say political statements have no place in the supposedly apolitical Olympic Games. Supporters, on the other hand, are moved by their actions and praise them for their bravery. The protest has lingering effects for both men, the most serious of which are death threats against them and their families. Smith and Carlos, who both went on to coach high school track teams, are honoured in 1998 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their protest. A side note to the protest is that the 200m silver medallist in 1968, Peter Norman of Australia (who is white), participated in the protest that evening by wearing an OPHR badge.