Tommie Smith

Event: 200m

Inducted to Hall of Fame: 1993

Mt. SAC Relays Highlights
Career Highlights

Tommie Smith didn't just break world records; he demolished them. Unfortunately, he also demolished his career by his Black Power demonstration on the victory stand at the 1968 Olympics. Although he is most closely identified with this incident, his accomplishments on the track merit equal consideration.

Tommie was part of the legendary "Speed City" San Jose State teams that included Lee Evans and John Carlos. Although he won only one individual title at the Mt. SAC Relays, he combined with his teammates in '66, '67 and '68 to win several Relays' titles.

Tommie's first world record came over 200m in 1966, when he raced 20.0 to knock 0.2 seconds off the previous record. In 1967, he made one of his infrequent forays to 400m and wound up not only beating Lee Evans over the distance, but also lowering the previous world record by an astounding 0.4 seconds.

But it was the 200m final at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics that Tommie truly made history. There he blazed to the win in 19.83 seconds to beat his closest competitor by 0.23 seconds. This mark lowered the previous auto-timed world record by 0.29 seconds. It was a record that would stand for almost 11 years.

Born: 1944

College: San Jose State

  • 1968: 220y, 1st: 20.5w
  • PRs:
    • 200m: 19.83A (World Record)
    • 400m: 44.5 (World Record)
  • Broke 3 World Records:
    • 1966: 200m, 20.0
    • 1967: 400m, 44.5
    • 1968: 200m, 19.83A
  • Broke 6 American Records:
    • 1966: 220y, 19.5 (straightaway)
    • 1966: 200m, 20.0
    • 1967: 200m, 20.26A
    • 1967: 400m, 44.5
    • 1968: 200m, 20.18A
    • 1968: 200m, 19.83A
  • Olympic Gold Medal, 1968
    • 19.83A
  • U.S. National Champion:
    • 1967: 20.4y
    • 1968: 20.3
  • NCAA Champion, 1967
    • 200y: 20.2

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