• Short Summary

    Tommy Smith, the black United States athlete who set the world record for the 200 metres at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 will not be taking part in the Olympics at Munich this year.

  • Description

    1.
    GV & SV Smith and John Carbon receive medals (2 shots)
    0.05

    2.
    SV Smith and Carlos holding clenched fist salute
    0.30

    3.
    SV Smith runs out onto rugby pitch with young athletes
    0.34

    4.
    CU Smith coaching youngsters (5 shots)
    1.36

    5.
    CU Smith speaking (SOUND)
    2.03

    6.
    SV PAN SLOW MOTION Smith at creed
    2.24


    TRANSCRIPT: COMMENTATOR: "It happened at the victory ceremony when Tommy Smith and his follow American, John Carlos who came third, received their medals. As the American national anthem was being played and as four hundred million people watched on television, both men bowed their heads and raised black-gloved clenched fists high in the air in a defiant black power salute. At that moment, for Tommy Smith, winning an Olympic gold medal, smashing a world record, and making a powerful political protest, it all added up to what must have seemed the happiest day of his life. Tommy Smith, the fastest man in the world, has ended up here, in the northern industrial town of Wakefield.



    SEQ. 5: SMITH (Coaching young athletes): Form a circle. Bring it round. Bring it all the way round. Ready. Begin...One, two three. One, two, three. Bring 'am up like you're shaking your hand with your fellow man...."



    COMMENTATOR: "The big race will be run at the Wakefield Trinity Rugby Stadium, and these young local athletes will be competing in some of the other events, taking the chance to pick up some valuable training tips from the master."



    SMITH (Coaching youngsters): "You got a mind so think for yourselves. Now, I want to hear it this time. Okay, now we're gonna do something called toe-touches. We're doing one riff of ten. Okay captain? Ready? Begin. One, two, three...."



    COMMENTATOR: But the bumpy rugby field in the north of England, with barely enough distance to pull up in at the end of the race is a far cry from the multi-million pound tracks where Tommy Smith established no less than II world records. Yet this is how far he has fallen in just four years. Four years in which he has been thrown out of the U.S. Athletics team, his marriage has broken up. He's been spat at in the streets and he's received more than 50 threats to his life."



    SMITH: "Had I been a good boy in Mexico, I could have probably been monetarily richer and I would probably have bee a bigger figure than I am right now. But i would still have had to fight my stuff from the inside...the feelings that I would have had, had I not (made the gesture) ...it was the feeling. And I'm looked down upon by probably most Americans because of my feelings I conveyed....those feelings in Mexico City."



    COMMENTATOR: "At 26, Tommy Smith is at the peak of his abilities as an athlete. His 200 metres world record has remained unbeaten for four years. So as far as his sport is concerned, it seems little short of a tragedy. But because he once dared to criticise his country in public, he's been brutally cast out from the sport he loves--and confined to the scrapheap of his nation's history."



    Tommy Smith--the man whole set no ??? than eleven world athletic records--receives a gold medal at the Mexico Olympics with John Carlos, who came third in the two-hundred metre event. As the national anthem of the United States began, and as four-hundred-million television viewers watched, both men bowed their heads and raised clenched fists in a defiant Black Power salute. But it was a gesture that cost Smith his athletic career.



    Today, at 26, Smith is at the peak of condition. But instead of competing at this year's Munich Olympics. he'll be training--and racing--against these youngsters on ??? rugby pitch in the industrial north of England. It's a for cry from the multi-million pound stadiums where the world's fastest man set no less than eleven world records. Yet is the penalty he has had to pay. For since that victorious day at Mexico City, where he ??? a two-hundred metre record that is still to be beaten, Smith has been thrown out of the United States Athletic team. His marriage has broken up. He has been spat on in the streets. And he has received more than fifty threats to his life.



    SOUND STARTS: "Had I been a good boy..."



    SOUND ENDS: ".....Mexico City."



    Watching Smith in action will be invaluable experience for the young athletes of England's industrial north. For Smith, the man who dared to criticise his country in public, the experience has been a painful one.




    Initials BB/1710 SH/PW/BB/1645


    Please note this film has a voice-on-film commentary in English. An alternative commentary is provided for the convenience of Visnews subscribers.

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Tommy Smith, the black United States athlete who set the world record for the 200 metres at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968 will not be taking part in the Olympics at Munich this year.

    Instead, the man who has established no less than eleven world records, will be training--and racing against--young athletes on a bumpy rugby pitch in the industrial north of England.

    That is the penalty Smith has had to pay for defiance. For as he and John Carlos--who came third in the 200 metres event at Mexico City--received their medals, the two men bowed their heads to the United States national anthem--and raised their clenched fists in a black power salute that was watched by some four hundred million television viewers.

    The gesture cost Smith his career. Since that victorious day in Mexico City, he has been thrown out of the United States athletics team, his marriage was broken up, he has been spat upon in the streets and he has received more than 50 threats to his life.

    Today, although Smith at 26 is at the peak of his athletic form, he has no regrets: He says he probably would have been monetarily better off and a greater figure had he not made the gesture--but he had to get his frustrated mailings out of his system.

    Please note this film has a voice-on-film commentary in English. An alternative commentary is provided for the convenience of Visnews subscribers.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA7QFFL7PP5GZCN2XUI8BDKMBU7
    Media URN:
    VLVA7QFFL7PP5GZCN2XUI8BDKMBU7
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    23/07/1972
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:24:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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