Big Fuckin' Jumps at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics

Comments

1

Really Chase? You never heard of Beamon's jump.

That makes me sad. I guess you are young. I was only six, but it became the stuff of legends. Everyone knew about Beamon's jump. Watching that video brings back memories. I probably didn't see it live, but I saw replay after replay. I remember various details -- his arms outstretched, then his knees hitting his chest in midair. The landing, feet first, and again with his knees in his chest so he doesn't fall backwards. Then the little excited hop afterwards -- he knew he had done something special. Such flexibility, grace, speed and strength. And then such joy, knowing all that work had paid off.

But mostly I just knew it as one of the great track and field moments in history. He didn't just win gold and set the record. He destroyed it. His record stood for over 20 years.

Of course the 200 meters medal ceremony stole the show, as well it should. All three men were fascinating -- at some point they could make a great movie about them ("Smith, Norman, Carlos" or maybe "200 Meters, 1968"). Even the Wikipedia entry on it is enthralling, and that doesn't include video of the actual race. That was a pivotal moment in world history. My favorite lyrics about it:

...
Well after doin that /we be headin for the ceremony
hand on the heart /is a bunch of baloney
the spirit of/ the '68 olympics
Black power people/ can I get a witness
fist in the air/ this is proper manners
while Jimi Hendrix/ is fuckin' up the spangled banner
...

(From the song "Dream Team", which I'm sure will get referenced at some point.)

Man, I love the Olympics -- thanks for this series, the second best thing.