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Athletics: Farewell to Lee Evans, Black Hat Champion of Mexico '68

Athletics: Farewell to Lee Evans, Black Hat Champion of Mexico ’68

The man in the black hat is gone. Athletics legend Lee Evans, the first man to break a 44-inch wall over 400 floors, died at the age of 74 in Nigeria, where he was a coach. A week ago, the family began collecting donations to be able to transport him to the United States after suffering a stroke in the African country. Evans manages to stop the clock at 43 “86 during the 1968 games in Mexico City: he won the gold medal, and on the podium wore a black hat to support civil rights protests: years later he said he had” advised “him not to repeat the famous raised fist gesture of Tommy Smith And John Carlos on the podium 200.

Like Smith and Carlos, Evans quit the San Jose State University team. He was also a leading player in the Olympic Human Rights Project, which wanted to draw attention to racism and discrimination, and who led the protests at the 1968 Games. Harry Edwards, one of the movement’s leaders, tweeted: “The legacy of his contribution to sport and the struggle for social justice is indelible. He is still alive. ”

In athletics, he was an excellent champion: in addition to the 43 ”86 on the 400, he was one of the four American relay runners who set the world record for 4×400 at 2’56” 16, unbeaten for 24 years. Those 400 “his” lasted 20 years, toppled by Butch Reynolds in 1988 before Hurricane Michael Johnson. He also won 5 American titles, being named in the US Athletics Hall of Fame, Olympic Stars and Stripes. After retiring from competitive activity, Evans spent more and more time in Africa, working with the United Nations and also coaching national athletics teams in Nigeria and then in Saudi Arabia as well. He was currently a trainer of high school athletics in Lagos.

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