Last year, Lucie Kaas approached Tommie Smith as a fitting addition to our Sketch.inc for Lucie Kaas Collection. The original intention was to celebrate and honor his legacy in the build up towards the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
At the 1968 Olympic Games, Tommie made history for breaking the 200m world record and for standing up against inequality. Tommie raised his arm on the victory stand in a silent prayer that is considered one of the most iconic images in sports history. His intention was to unite the world to fight together in the struggle for all human rights.
While emphasis has often been put on the salute itself, there were also many other statements integrated on to the stand that day. Both Tommie and bronze medal winner John Carlos stood without shoes to represent the institutionalized poverty inflicted on black Americans. All three athletes, Tommie, John, and Australian Peter Norman wore OPHR – Olympic Project for Human Rights – badges. The OPHR was an organization with the aim of protesting racial segregation in the United States, Apartheid in South Africa and racism in sports in general.
The demonstration is regarded as one of the most overtly political statements in the history of the modern Olympics.
Though the 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed, the fight of Tommie Smith and his colleagues has never been more relevant than it is today. His courage is directly connected to the generations of people standing up against injustice, raising their fists in the streets each day.
Lucie Kaas is extremely proud and honored that Tommie agreed to work with us in the latter of 2019, and his addition to our curated collection fits perfectly in our celebration of
pioneers, icons, and trailblazers.
See Tommie here.