Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

National Legends Honoring These Past Olympians Honors Us All

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

National Legends Honoring These Past Olympians Honors Us All

Article excerpt

When track and field star Jesse Owens came back from Nazi Germany with four Olympic gold medals in 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt didn't even send him a telegram. When U.S. medalists Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in protest in 1968, the runners were kicked out of the Olympics.

Last week, President Barack Obama honored those legends, along with 17 of Mr. Owens' black teammates whom President Roosevelt also snubbed. When he welcomed the 2016 U.S. Olympic team to the White House, Mr. Obama also welcomed Mr. Smith, Mr. Carlos and descendants of the black 1936 Olympians. For Mr. Smith and Mr. Carlos, it was their first official U.S. Olympic Committee event since the 1968 games.

The president said these black athletes who had defeated white athletes in the face of the Nazi ideology of Aryan supremacy and these American protesters had helped create America's "sense that we're in this together. …

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