American sprinter Tommie Smith, center, and teammate John Carlos, right, raise their black-gloved hands while on the medal stand during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. The action, meant to draw attention to civil rights issues in the U.S., caused both athletes to be suspended from the team.
San Jose, CA (AP) - Tommie Smith is selling the gold medal
he won at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, where his Black Power
salute on the podium shocked the sports world.
The former San Jose State runner has put his gold medal for the
200 meters and spikes up for auction at New York-based M.I.T.
Memorabilia. The bid starts at $250,000, and the sale is scheduled
to close Nov. 4.
The 66-year-old Smith, who now lives in Georgia, declined
comment to the San Jose Mercury News.
M.I.T.'s Gary Zimet says Smith is selling the medal for the
money but also because he wants to share it with the public.
Smith won the 200 in world-record time, then was expelled from
the Games along with bronze medalist John Carlos when they bowed
their heads during the Star-Spangled Banner and raised their
black-gloved fists in protest. The human rights protest eventually
earned Smith and Carlos international acclaim.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)