Record-Setting Olympian Lee Evans dies at 74

By Daily Sports on May 20, 2021

Views: 394

Lee Evans, the record-setting sprinter who wore a black beret in a sign of protest at the 1968 Olympics, has died at the age of 74.

USA Track and Field confirmed Evans’ death yesterday  after reports that his family had started a fundraiser with hopes of bringing him back to the US from Nigeria – where he was coaching sprinters – to receive medical care following a stroke last week.

Evans became the first man to crack 44 seconds in the 400 metres, winning the gold medal at the 1968 Mexico City Games in 43.86sec. His victory came shortly after his teammates, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, were both sent home from the Olympics for raising their fists on the medals stand.

In later interviews, Evans said an official warned him not to do anything similar. He took a different approach, wearing a black beret to show support for the Black Panther Party and other civil rights organisations.

Like Smith and Carlos, Evans was a college star on the San Jose State “Speed City” teams.

He was also a high-profile member of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, which called attention to racial inequality and oppression and spearheaded the protests at the 1968 games.

Evans won five US titles at 400 metres and is a member of both the USATF and US Olympic halls of fame. After he stopped running competitively, Evans spent a lot of time in Africa, working for the United Nations, and also coaching national teams in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. He had been coaching high school track in Lagos. (Agency Report)



•PHOTO: Late U.S. sprinter and activist Lee Evans poses during the IAAF World Athletic Gala in Monte Carlo November 17, 2002. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard 

Source Daily Sports

Posted May 20, 2021


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