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Stars of ’68 to be featured in USATF Hershey Junior Olympic Opening Ceremony


GREENSBORO, N.C. – The 2018 USATF Hershey Junior Olympics will get off to a historic start during a star-studded Opening Ceremony Tuesday evening (July 24), as stars from the 1968 Olympic Team are honored.


Taking place at 7:00 p.m. at Aggie Stadium on the campus of North Carolina A&T University, the Opening Ceremony will unite more than 8,700 youth athletes ages 8-18 with some of the greatest athletes in the sport’s history.


1968 gold medalists honored at the Opening Ceremony include: Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who placed first and third in the 200 meters and made history with their protest for human rights on the medal stand; long jumper Bob Beamon, who shattered the world record in Mexico City and still holds the Olympic record; Wyomia Tyus, who won the 100m and the 4x100 and became the first athlete to successfully defend an Olympic 100m title; high jumper Dick Fosbury, who broke the Olympic record and revolutionized the event; Madeline Manning Mims, the only American woman in history to win Olympic gold in the 800m; and Mel Pender, who ran the second leg on the U.S. 4x100m relay team that shattered the world record.


The Opening Ceremony also will include the presentation of the Milton Hershey Award to Carol Hardemon and will feature remarks by Henry Fourrier, Executive Director of the Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau. Prior to the ceremony, USATF will host a special invitation only, in-stadium screening of NBC’s “1968” Olympic documentary, which looks back at the athletic, social and political backdrop of the 1968 Olympic Games.

Hosted by 1996 Olympic decathlon gold medalist and Hall of Famer Dan O’Brien, the Junior Olympics Opening Ceremony is part of the USATF’s year long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1968 U.S. Olympic Track & Field team. The 1968-2018: Celebrating Athletic Achievement and Courage campaign will culminate with the Night of Legends celebration during the USATF Annual Meeting this December in Columbus, Ohio, a special reunion of 1968 team members and current USATF stars.


The 2018 USATF Hershey Junior Olympic Championships is USATF’s single largest event. Webcast on USATF.TV+, competition begins Monday, July 23 and concludes Sunday, July 29. Click here for more information.

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