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"I saved my best for races that were important to me," says Carlos. "To me, the blackest meet, where even a lot of the whites understood and got into the speed, was the Fresno Relays." In the 1969 Fresno 100-yard dash, Carlos bolted away from a superb field to win by at least four yards. The world record was 9.1. One of the three official watches read 9.0.
"I know I ran 8.8," says Carlos. "Lotta watches in the stands were at 8.7, 8.8." The meet continued, with no announcement of the winning time. The crowd booed and began to chant, "What did he run? What did he run?"
"The head timer had 9.1," says Carlos. "He canceled out all the other times and gave me 9.1." One more record. One more denial.
That summer, Carlos and Beamon were a dashing pair at European meets, traveling the continent in vests, spats and homburgs. "He must have known," says Huey of Carlos, "that this was his peak, and he was savoring it."
Yet Carlos's immense winning margins left him lukewarm. "There was no more challenge," he says. "The others were running to see who'd be second."
Carlos, born to confront, retired from track and went to football. "I thought I'd have a challenge in football, but they didn't give me a chance," he says. "Football doesn't have time to teach. Produce or you're out." He went from Philadelphia to Montreal and was out of the game by 1972. He made it to the Munich Olympics that year as an employee of a shoe company. There he saw murder enter the Games when Black September terrorists took Israeli coaches and athletes hostage. "People were upset over what I did in 1968," he said even as the helicopters were taking hostages and terrorists to their fatal shoot-out with West German policemen. "But I just expressed my feelings. I didn't hurt anybody. Now what are they going to say? Can they tell the difference?"
Every black Olympic teammate of Smith's and Carlos's was associated with their gesture in the public mind. Some suffered for it.
"The Olympic 100-meter dash decides who is the world's fastest human," says Hines, who won it. "When it's overshadowed by a political move, it's hard not to think about it, especially when people can't even remember you."
Hines had watched with a sinking heart as Smith's fist went up. "I was an activist," Hines says. "We were all black and a unit, and we set out to speak against the racism of the country, but I believed in letting our winning speak. Our winning. The '68 team was the best in history, but it was discredited by what Tom and John did. The glove situation cost us all a lot."
Hines's prime sponsor, Adidas, edged away from a pre-Olympic incentive of a lifetime contract if he won the 100. "They felt we were all in on the protest," says Hines. "Everybody did. I'd been drafted by the Dolphins, and I explained that that wasn't me with a glove. But they believed we all had to know about it. I would have tripled my money from the Dolphins if it weren't for that. The gesture cost me a total of $2 million."