John Wesley Carlos was born in Harlem, New York on June 5, 1945(Provence 1).At the age of twelve, Carlos had decided that we was going to be an Olympic swimmer. Unfortunately, he was told by his own father that it would never happen because of the color of his skin. Soon after, Carlos decided on Golden Gloves Boxing instead, but was told to quit because his mother was tired of seeing him covered in bruises. Carlos was determined to make it to the Olympics and decided that running was the way to go. From running in the poor streets of Harlem to running at the University of East Texas State, his dream was coming to life when he competed at the 1968 Olympic Games with his good friend and teammate, Tommie Smith. Carlos’ dream was coming to
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Carlos changed the world the minute he stepped on the podium with teammate Smith. Both athletes were also participants of Harry Edwards’ group, the Olympic Project for Human Rights which gained support from several world-class athletes and civil rights leaders (Gettings). The original plan was that the two athletes were supposed to boycott the games but Carlos and Smith had something else in mind that would get the attention that was needed.
The two men (Carlos and Smith) had decided that after the 200-meter race as the American flag rose and the national anthem played, the two men would then closed their eyes, bow their heads, and began their protest .Carlos and Smith wore black gloves to represent the strength and unity, beads around their neck to represent the history of lynching and no shoes to represent the poverty throughout the world.
Because of his actions John Carlos was severely punished by the USOC (United States Olympic Committee) and the people of the United States. The fundamental principles of Olympism of the IOC gave each person a chance to compete in the sport that they desire without being discriminated of any sort. This policy allows any person to play a sport for the friendly development of humanity, gives every person the right to compete without being discriminated and the right to fair play.
The Fundamental Principles of Olympism