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Protest at the Pyramid

Title: Protest at the Pyramid: The 1968 Mexico City Olympics and the Politicization of the Olympic Games.
Name(s): Witherspoon, Kevin B., author
Jones, James P., professor directing dissertation
O'Sullivan, Patrick, outside committee member
Richardson, Joe M., committee member
Conner, Valerie J., committee member
Herrera, Robinson, committee member
Department of History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2003
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation examines the importance of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. It explores briefly the history of the Olympic movement in Mexico, and the origins of the Mexican bid to host the Olympics. In winning the bid, the Mexican Olympic Committee not only staged a thorough and well-prepared presentation, but also shrewdly negotiated the waters between the Cold War superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. Even before the Opening Ceremonies, these Olympics were fraught with controversy, including the altitude issue, the debate over amateurism, and the question of whether to admit South Africa, which proved so divisive it inspired an international boycott movement. Each of these controversies detracted from the purely athletic interest in the Games, lending them a political feel from the beginning. These controversies were soon superceded by the "Revolt of the Black Athlete" in the United States, as black athletes threatened to boycott the Games, and a burgeoning student movement in Mexico. The latter ended in a brutal massacre initiated by Mexican police and authorities. The movement among black athletes peaked as Tommie Smith and John Carlos delivered the black power salute while on the medal stand, again drawing attention away from the athletic contests. The dissertation concludes with an analysis of the broader significance of the Olympics, from its economic impact to the meanings of the social movements attached to it. By the end of the fortnight, several hundred Mexican students lay dead, racial discord in the United States was again a topic of international discussion, and all aspirations for a separation of sport and politics lay in ruins.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-0920 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of History in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2003.
Date of Defense: Date of Defense: October 6, 2003.
Keywords: Black Athletes, Tlatelolco, Mexico, Olympics, Sport History
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: James P. Jones, Professor Directing Dissertation; Patrick O'Sullivan, Outside Committee Member; Joe M. Richardson, Committee Member; Valerie J. Conner, Committee Member; Robinson Herrera, Committee Member.
Subject(s): History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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Witherspoon, K. B. (2003). Protest at the Pyramid: The 1968 Mexico City Olympics and the Politicization of the Olympic Games. Retrieved from