Statue of Peter Norman outside Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne (Brian Roe) © Copyright
General News Melbourne, Australia

Statue honouring Australian Olympian Peter Norman unveiled in Melbourne

In celebration of Peter Norman Day, Athletics Australia, in partnership with the Victorian Government, unveiled a statue in honour of the 1968 Olympic sprinter in Melbourne today (9). ⁣

Norman raced to the silver medal at the Olympic Games in Mexico City Olympics that year, clocking 20.06, a performance that still stands as the Australian national record 51 years later.

But it was Norman's brave stand in solidarity on the podium afterwards with Tommie Smith and John Carlos of the USA, the gold and bronze medallists, respectively, that will be remembered as one of Australia’s most iconic sporting moments with a special place in Olympic history. As Smith and Carlos held their arms aloft joined in a Black Power salute, Norman stood beside them, motionless, but showing his support by wearing an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge alongside his silver medal.

The statue, created by sculptor Louis Laumen, stands in Albert Park outside Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne, Norman's hometown.

Among those who attended the unveiling ceremony were his coach Neville Sillitoe, his mother Thelma and daughter Janita.

 

Peter Norman's coach Neville Sillitoe, Norman's mother Thelma and daughter Janita at the Norman statue unveiling ceremony in Melbourne (Brian Roe)Peter Norman's coach Neville Sillitoe, Norman's mother Thelma and daughter Janita at the Norman statue unveiling ceremony in Melbourne (Brian Roe) © Copyright

 

Norman, Smith and Carlos remained friends after Mexico City. When he passed away in 2006, Smith and Carlos served as pall bearers at his funeral. In 2006 USA Track and Field proclaimed 9 October, the date of his funeral, as Peter Norman Day.

Athletics Australia and Bob Ramsak for the IAAF