Anonymous / The Associated Press

Tommie Smith, center, and John Carlos extend their fists after receiving their Olympic medals for the 200-meter dash in 1968.

This Week: Olympic sprinters return to South Lake Tahoe training facility

Published: Sunday, Jun. 22, 2014 - 12:00 am

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the U.S. sprinters who famously bowed their heads and raised black-gloved fists at the 1968 Olympics as a civil rights protest, are two of the athletes speaking Friday at a celebration of the facility where American athletes trained that year near South Lake Tahoe.

In cooperation with the state and El Dorado County, a historical marker will be placed at the facility by Eldorado National Forest officials. The site is at Echo Summit in the Eldorado National Forest, 10 miles west of South Lake Tahoe.

The “Return to the Summit” event recalls a tumultuous time in U.S. history, when the country was embroiled in the civil rights movement. Many American athletes supported the cause, and Smith and Carlos – the gold and bronze medal winners, respectively, of the 200-meter dash at the Mexico City Olympics – sparked controversy with what some have called their “Black Power salute.”

Men’s track and field athletes broke four world records at the Echo Summit facility during the U.S. Olympic trials. The high-altitude site helped athletes train for the thin air in Mexico City, where the U.S. Olympic team won 12 gold medals. After the athletes left for the Olympics, the facility was dismantled and moved to South Lake Tahoe.

The entrance for the event, which will begin at 10:30 a.m., is on the south side of Highway 50, 3 miles east of the entrance to Sierra at Tahoe ski area, and is marked by an Adventure Mountain sign.

– Barbara Barte Osborn, Bee correspondent

In the News

LGBT Community Center to bestow PRIDE Awards

The Sacramento LGBT Community Center is hosting its first PRIDE Awards at the Hyatt Regency, 1209 L St. in Sacramento, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. More than 40 leaders of the city’s gay and lesbian community are nominated for recognition. Proceeds from the event will be used to support community center programs. Individual tickets are $45 in advance, $60 at the door.


Women’s Empowerment seeks sponsors for gala

Women’s Empowerment, a Sacramento nonprofit that helps homeless women find jobs, is looking for community members to sponsor some of its graduates’ attendance at its 13th annual gala Thursday. A $100 sponsorship will enable formerly homeless women to attend the event in formal gowns donated by the community.

“This is a night for women and mothers once homeless and isolated to now shine and be celebrated for the amazing accomplishments they have achieved for their families,” said Lisa Culp, Women’s Empowerment executive director. The 5:30 p.m. event is at the Red Lion Hotel Woodlake.

Info and donations:

Car dealers star in auto museum’s new exhibit

The California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St. in Sacramento, will formally open its new centerpiece exhibit, “Selling the Dream: Sacramento’s Early Car Dealers,” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Refreshments and various activities for all ages are scheduled. The exhibit, sponsored by the Greater Sacramento New Car Dealers Association, traces the history of the local auto-sales industry, dating back some 70 years. Regular admission is $8 for adults and $4 for students.

More info: or call (916) 442-6802

Dog demonstrates helper skills at Franklin library

Nancy Sawhney and her assistance dog, Becky, will demonstrate the ways the “canine companion” helps people with disabilities at 4 p.m. Thursday at Franklin Community Library, 10055 Franklin High Road in Elk Grove. The free, hourlong presentation is part of the library’s Summer Reading event series.

Info: Call (916) 264-2920

Free Natomas concert series kicks off Friday

Groove Thang is kicking off the annual summer concert series hosted by Promenade as Sacramento Gateway in Natomas. The band is performing a free show from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the shopping center at 3620 N. Freeway Blvd. in Sacramento. A free concert is being offered every fourth Friday of the month through September. Food trucks and special food and drink offers will be available.

Info: Call (916) 419-3800

Read more articles by Barbara Barte Osborn

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