Tommie Smith and John Carlos
1968 Mexico City Games
Track and field
Medal count: One gold (Smith), one bronze (Carlos)
Teammates at San Jose State, Smith and Carlos faced off in the 200-meter race, with Smith winning gold with a world record time of 19.83 seconds. Carlos finished third, behind Australia's Peter Norman. When the three men – all donning Olympic Project for Human Rights badges – went to the podium to receive their medals, Smith and Carlos removed their shoes and stood in black socks as a tribute to black people in poverty. Then, during "The Star-Spangled Banner," they bowed their heads and gave the traditional "black power" salute of a raised, black-gloved fist. Then-IOC president Avery Brundage suspended Smith and Carlos for making a political statement during the Olympics. The duo was heavily criticized at the time, even receiving death threats, though the moment is now seen as one of the most important of the Civil Rights Movement.