Pivotal 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games celebrate 50th anniversary

Every Olympic Games is notable is one way or another, but the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games was a pivotal point in athletics history.

After getting underway on 13 October, during the eight days of athletics in the Mexican capital records tumbled with an astonishing frequency but the Games – and in no sport more so than athletics – also caught the zeitgeist of the era with technical innovations and social changes, many of which have had a lasting impact 50 years later.

The tone was set at the opening ceremony for the Games, which had taken place a day earlier in the 83,700-capacity Estadio Olympico Universitario that was subsequently to play host to the athletics, when the Mexican hurdler Norma Enriqueta Basilio became the first woman to light the flame in the Olympic cauldron.

It was an occasion that was seen while it happened in many parts of the world and, thanks to developments in satellite technology, much of the Olympics was also transmitted live. For the first time, athletics at an Olympic Games was also available to an international audience in colour, even though only a fraction of the global population had TV sets capable of receiving such images.

Nevertheless, the pictures transmitted from the athletics events in Mexico City truly captured the world’s imagination in a way that had not been done before. World records tumble

The fact that an Olympic athletics competition was staged on synthetic all-weather track was also a first and combined with Mexico City’s very helpful […]

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