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Peter NormanPrint Page Print this page

11-October-2019
11-October-2019

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson
The statue commemorates Olympic sprinter and medallist, Peter Norman, who died in 2006. 

Peter George Norman (15 June 1942 – 3 October 2006) was an Australian track athlete. He won the silver medal in the 200 metres at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, with a time of 20.06 seconds. This remains an Oceanian record. He was a five-time national 200-metres champion.

Norman is arguably best known as the third athlete pictured in a famous photograph of the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute, which occurred during the medal ceremony for the 200-metre event. He wore a badge of the Olympic Project for Human Rights in support of fellow athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Norman was not selected for the 1972 Summer Olympics, and retired from the sport soon after. 

In August 2012, the Australian House of Representatives debated a motion to provide a posthumous apology to Norman. The chamber passed an official apology motion on 11 October 2012 which read:  

The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the motion of Dr Leigh— That this House:
(1) recognises the extraordinary athletic achievements of the late Peter Norman, who won the silver medal in the 200 metres sprint running event at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, in a time of 20.06 seconds, which still stands as the Australian record;
(2) acknowledges the bravery of Peter Norman in donning an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge on the podium, in solidarity with African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who gave the ‘black power’ salute;
(3) apologises to Peter Norman for the treatment he received upon his return to Australia, and the failure to fully recognise his inspirational role before his untimely death in 2006; and
(4) belatedly recognises the powerful role that Peter Norman played in furthering racial equality. 

The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring Peter Norman’s iconic stand for civil rights at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics is never forgotten with a new statue at Melbourne’s Albert Park.

The image of the Victorian runner standing on the podium with African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos as they give the Black Power salute has become one of history’s most enduring photographs and a symbol of the struggle for civil rights.

Mr Norman won the 200m silver with a time of 20.06s – which remains the Australian record 51 years later – before donning an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge to show solidarity with his competitors. The act caused a wave of global controversy, with Mr Norman criticised and unofficially sanctioned by officials on his return to Australia. Despite qualifying for the 1972 Olympics in Munich, he was not selected and never made the Australian Olympic team again.

But over time, his actions have received the recognition and praise they deserve.

Mr Norman remains a revered figure in athletics and human rights communities. On the day of his funeral in Melbourne 13 years ago – 9 October 2006 – the USA Track and Field Federation declared the day would be known as Peter Norman Day. Mr Smith and Mr Carlos were pallbearers.

The Labor Government has invested $100,000 to make the statue a reality, capturing Mr Norman on the dais.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Steve Dimopoulos today joined Mr Norman’s eldest daughter Janita Norman, his former coach and sporting officials to officially unveil the statue, created by sculptor Louis Laumen.

Mr Norman’s contribution to the community continued later in life, including work in senior roles at Sport and Recreation Victoria from 1998 to 2006 where he helped organise key international events such as the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, the Commonwealth Youth Games and the World Equestrian Games.

Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Steve Dimopoulos

“Peter Norman made a stand for humanity 51 years ago and it is a great thing that future generations of Victorians will know his story of strength and decency.”

Quote attributable to Member for Albert Park Martin Foley

“Albert Park is exactly the right place for this monument to a great Melburnian whose actions five decades ago continue to resonate.”

 Quote attributable to Athletics Australia chief executive Darren Gocher

“We are not only proud of Peter Norman’s achievement as a champion athlete but as a champion ambassador of our sport and culture.”
Media Release, 9 October 2019, 
premier.vic.gov.au

 

 



 

Location

Address:Albert Road Drive, Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park, 3206
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.839367
Long: 144.964875
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Sport
Artist:Louis Laumen (Yarraville, VIC)

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 10th October, 2019
Front Inscription

                         Peter Norman
Peter Norman won the silver medal at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games
setting an Australian record of 20.06.  Fifty years on that remained so.
However, it was Peter`s brave stand in solidarity with Americans Tommie
Smith and John Carlos on the dais post-race that will forever live as one
of Australia`s most iconic sporting moments - and with a special place in
                              Olympic history.
                 Peter Norman, we salute you.

Athletics           VICTORIA
Australia           State Government

Back Inscription

A PROCLAMATION

In Honour And Celebration Of

Peter Norman

Whereas, the family, friends, associates and USA Track and Field wish to honour and celebrate the life of Peter Norman.

And whereas, Peter Norman was a man of integrity and solid beliefs who did not hesitate to stand up for what was right, no matter the consequences.

And whereas, Norman was an outstanding athlete who won the silver medal in the 200 metres at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City in one of the greatest races in Olympic history.

And whereas, Norman`s time of 20.06 recorded in Mexico City would have won the 2000 Olympics and remains an Australian record thirty-eight years later.

And whereas, Norman shared the Mexico City medal podium with Tommie Smith and John Carlos, proud men who made one of the most significant statements of advocacy and protests in recorded history.

And whereas, Norman wore a badge on his tracksuit in Mexico City proclaining his support for the human rights objectives for Smith and Carlos.

And whereas, Norman continued to express his solidarity with Smith and Carlos`s cause in the decade since Mexico City even in the face of threats and retributions.

And whereas, the courageous efforts of Smith, Carlos and Norman have helped improve our sport and our world.

Whereas, Peter Norman will always be known in the United States as well as a great athlete, a courageous leader, a humanitarian and a man of his word.

Therefore, let it be known by all members and the assembled audience in Melbourne, Australia by the authority vested in us as the President of USA Track and Field (Bill Roe) and the CEO of USA Track and Field (Craig A Masback), that we proclaim 9th October 2006 as Peter Norman Day in the United States .  So shall it be read and so recorded in the official record of USA Track and Field.

Bill Roe - President of USA Track and Field
Craig A Masback - CEO of USA Track and Field

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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