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Peter Norman not shunned by AOC

6 November 2015

AOC: Peter Norman’s performance at the Mexico 1968 Olympic Games to win silver in the 200m and then support the black salute from American gold and bronze medallists, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, will forever give him a place in Olympic folklore. 

The Australian Team Chef de Mission at the 1968 Games Mr Julius Patching supported Norman and this continued throughout his life including honorary roles at Australian Olympic Committee events.    

There is a misleading and inaccurate report on social media that the Australian Olympic Committee shunned Peter Norman. 

When the incident happened at the 1968 Mexico Games, Norman was not punished by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC). He was cautioned by Patching that evening, and then given as many tickets as he wanted to go and watch a hockey match. That was his punishment! This is confirmed here>>> in the Official History of the Australian Olympic Movement, compiled by the late and respected historian Harry Gordon. 

It has been claimed that Norman was not picked for the next Olympics in 1972 because of the incident in 1968. This too is incorrect. At the time Ron Carter, athletics writer for The Age, wrote that Norman was injured and failed to perform at the Trials. (Full article here>>>) 

In the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Norman was involved in numerous Olympic events in his home city of Melbourne. He announced several teams for the AOC in Melbourne and was on the stage in his Mexico 1968 blazer congratulating athletes. He was very much acknowledged as an Olympian and the AOC valued his contribution. 

As for the accusation that Norman was not invited to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The AOC was not in a financial position to invite all Olympians to Sydney 2000. They were given special assistance to purchase tickets but it would have cost the AOC hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring Olympians from around the country to Sydney for the Games. The suggestion he was shunned is totally incorrect. He was treated like any other Australian Olympian. 

Norman has been profiled by the AOC over recent years on the AOC corporate website – corporate.olympics.com.au - as one ‘Of Our Finest’ Olympians. 

Watch this great interview with Norman here>>> 

Watch the full 200m final from Mexico 1968 here>>>

AOC

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