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Olympic Medalist And Former Lion Sprinter John Carlos Returns to Commerce

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Dallas South News Wire

Olympic bronze medalist and former East Texas State track star John Carlos will be returning to Commerce on Tuesday, November 8, holding a discussion and book signing for his new book The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World. Carlos will speak in the Ferguson Social Sciences Building, beginning at 7 p.m.

“John Carlos was a gifted athlete who made history on the track and in the broader arena of social justice,” said A&M University-Commerce President Dr. Dan Jones. “We welcome him back to the university and community where he spent a formative time of his life.”

Published in 2011 by Haymarket Books, The John Carlos Story tells of Carlos’ history, including his most famous moment – the gloved salute on the medals platform at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Co-written by Dave Zirin, the duo have traveled across the country holding a discussion and discussing Carlos’ life fighting for human rights and the events leading up to the silent demonstration at the 1968 Olympics.

Carlos competed for East Texas State as a freshman in 1966-67, winning both the 100 and 200-meter dashes and was a member of the 4×400-meter relay team as the Lions captured the 1967 Lone Star Conference Championship. Carlos then transferred to San Jose State University.

Carlos qualified for the 1968 Olympic games and placed third in the 200-meter dash, where his protest against African-American poverty in the United States with gold medalist teammate Tommie Smith and silver medalist Peter Norman from Australia has become one of the most iconic sports moments in history.

Carlos would go on to tie the world record in the 100-yard dash in 1969 while helping San Jose State to the NCAA title. He would play briefly in the National Football League and Canadian Football Leagues before a knee injury cut his career short.

A number of departments across the A&M-Commerce campus have joined forces to make this event possible. The President’s Office, Alumni Association, School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts, Department of History, Department of Literature and Languages, the Department of Diversity, Cultural and Judicial Affairs, Project Respect and the Athletic Department, among others, have played a key role in making this appearance by Carlos possible.

“We are so excited to have John Carlos back on campus at the place where his track career truly began,” said Athletic Director Carlton Cooper. “This will be a great experience for the A&M-Commerce student body, our student-athletes, and the Commerce community to have a chance to meet someone who has championed his life fighting for human rights.”

The discussion with Carlos and Zirin is free to the public. Following the discussion, Carlos will be available to sign copies of his book, which sells for $25. For more information on the discussion and signing, contact the A&M-Commerce Athletic Department at (903) 886-5558.

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