In 1968 in Mexico City, at over 2,000 meters above sea level, American Bob Beamon leaped his way into the record books with a phenomenal long jump effort of 29 feet, 2 ½ inches (or 8.9 meters for those using the metric system), breaking the previous record by almost two feet. It was a record that would stand for nearly 23 years. The high altitude, though, of Mexico City may have had a hand in Beamon’s record jump; record performances were also observed in all the short races and the high jump. The Games were also marked by the racial protests of African-American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who won the gold and bronze, respectively, in the 200m dash. During the medal ceremony, both Smith and Carlos wore a black glove and raised their fist to protest racial discrimination, actions that led to their expulsion from the Olympic Village.
The Philippines sent 47 athletes, three more than the previous high of 44 four years earlier in Tokyo, but failed to win a medal. The basketball team was coached by former Olympian Caloy Loyzaga and included a young 22-year-old from the University of the East named Robert Jaworski. (Source: Olympic.org and Olympic.ph)
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