WYOMIA TYUS / by Molly Schiot

During the Mexico City games in 1968, Wyomia Tyus faced an atmosphere of racial tension. African American athletes threatened to boycott the games.  Although the boycott never occurred, two sprinters, bronze medalist John Carlos and gold medalist Tommie Smith, were suspended from the U.S. team for raising a Black Power salute during their victory ceremony. For Tyus the 1968 games were personally and professionally important. She won gold in the 100-meter dash for a second consecutive time, something no one else did until Carl Lewis competed twenty years later, and she also proved herself the fastest woman in the world for a second time. In response to the suspension of her fellow athletes, Tyus's 400-meter relay team, which won the gold medal and set a new record, dedicated their medal to Carlos and Smith.

During the Mexico City games in 1968, Wyomia Tyus faced an atmosphere of racial tension. African American athletes threatened to boycott the games.  Although the boycott never occurred, two sprinters, bronze medalist John Carlos and gold medalist Tommie Smith, were suspended from the U.S. team for raising a Black Power salute during their victory ceremony. For Tyus the 1968 games were personally and professionally important. She won gold in the 100-meter dash for a second consecutive time, something no one else did until Carl Lewis competed twenty years later, and she also proved herself the fastest woman in the world for a second time. In response to the suspension of her fellow athletes, Tyus's 400-meter relay team, which won the gold medal and set a new record, dedicated their medal to Carlos and Smith.