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The 1968 Olympics- the 19th Olympiad was said to have been the highest and most controversial games ever to be held Held in Mexico City Mexico it was the first Olympiad to be held in Latin America Because of the elevation in Mexico City of 7349 feet above sea level the thin air helped many old records to be broken The year 1968 itself was a different year The Vietnam War was under way and social leader Martin Luther King Jr had just been assassinated To add to that ten days prior to the scheduled opening of the Games students at Mexico City University protested and army troops were called in Thirty students were killed as the protest turned to riot Back in the United States the Civil Rights movement was occurring The United States took home 45 Gold Medals in 1968 with the United Socialists Soviet Republic following them with 29 Japan trailed with 11 Gold Medals and Hungary followed with 10 East Germany had 9 and France and Czechoslovakia tied with 7 Gold Medals West Germany Australia and Poland all tied with 5 total Gold Medals and Romania went home with 4 In the track and field events almost every record was broken because of the air Athletes like Jim Hines helped the USA Olympic Team win in the track activities Hines set the world record for the 100 meter dash at 995 seconds and kept that a world record for 15 years and an Olympic record for 20 years He also helped the mens relay team set a world record for the 4 x 100 meter relay at 3823 seconds Bill Toomey earned his gold medal in 1968 earning 8158 points in the decathlon and his 400 meter time still stands for a decathlon world record Racism was not forgotten even in the Olympics Tommie Smith and John Carlos ran 1st and 3rd place in the 200 meter race and
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