Capturing the Spirit of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City

CLICK here for a Video of Andy’s recapping the Spirit of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City while driving along on a “Journey to Olympic Golf.”

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Paulina De Labra on the 1968 ‘Cultural Olympics.”

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Adriana Gonzalez Duran of the National University of Mexico.

More videos, pictures, & posts coming… what would you like me to write about?

 

Met Paulina De Labra and musicians Hector Infanzon and Rodrigo Macias at the Fuente de Cibeles. Paulina’s uncle, Lenen Molina was the organizer of the “Cultural Olympics” during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Paulina, who grew up in the Olympic Spirit, shared her own perspective and her uncle’s insight into what defines the “Cultural Olympics.” Friendship, respect, the right to create, to develop and realize one’s own dreams in life circles that never end. A lasting memory for me of meeting this “Child of the Olympic Spirit” is  that “there is only one kind of humans, human beings.” We all wake up that way each morning!

CLICK here for video interview with Paulina De Labra.

 

Hurdler Norma Enriqueta Basilio, one of the stars of the Mexican team, became the first woman to light the Olympic torch.  In all 5,516 athletes from 122 nations competed in 172 events.

 

CLICK here for my friend Beto Corral’s web page dedicated to the Olympic Village where he lives in Mexico City.

A bit of our history. A little history of the Olympics in 1968

The 1968 Olympics, officially the Games of the XIX Olympiad, the so-called modern Olympic Games were an international multi-sport event. They were the first to be organized by a developing nation, a Spanish-speaking nation and even the upcoming games in Brazil 2016, the only in Latin America. Were held in Mexico City, Mexico, from 12 to 27 October 1968.

Were made well into the autumn in the northern hemisphere , because Mexico City is affected by the rainy season from early May to early October (according to tradition the rains end capital on October 4 , so that date is called ” the cordonazo of San Francisco ” ) , which would have affected a large number of sports to be held outdoors.

Startup Mexico City was not well accepted as Olympic host , by the press and public opinion.The press argued two reasons :
• The altitude of Mexico City (2300 meters) above sea level , which means that air is 30% less oxygen , which would significantly weaken the evidence.
• Mexico was an underdeveloped country . And so for these reasons it was thought that these Olympics would be a disaster.
Mexico fought these arguments with the claim that ” If the Olympic Games are an opportunity for investment and social and economic benefits ,” who better to receive than a developing country . So the ’68 Olympics were a success , despite these two serious drawbacks.
In support of its Olympic bid , the Federal District Department presented to the IOC a book in French , English and Castilian of 207 pages called ” Mexico – Requests – Requests Demande ” that responded to the questionnaire not only official , but it had a historical sketch Mexico city , a list of sporting events previously made ​​a detailed report of the sports facilities that were available and would have to be built , the climatic conditions of Mexico city , different medical opinions of the possible effects of its height ( 2,240 m above sea level ) and a detailed study of communications systems that had the city in early 1963.Mexico City was chosen to host the International Olympic Committee Meeting held in 1963 in Baden -Baden , Germany. The other cities that had been proposed were Lyon in France , Detroit in the United States and Buenos Aires in Argentina .
The sports facilities were built in Mexico capital and Acapulco Bay hosted the sailing events , the rowing and canoeing facilities were held in a channel of 2 kilometers located in a natural park with a capacity for 55,000 spectators.It was obvious that the IOC headquarters in conferring to Mexico , did not think his altitude could damage the health of the participants , much less some pilgrims attested and unfounded comments that appeared in the press of various countries :” If the athletes have to conform in six or eight days at a height of more than two thousand meters … I’ll be pessimistic :they will drop like flies ! ” ” One should not be influenced by the propaganda of the Mexicans, who naturally are putting their city in the clouds , etc. .. ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Adriana González Durán says:

    We´re waiting for those pictures! Regards!

    • Adriana, here you go! You are one tough cookie! Can you manage JTOG in Latin America for the next month? I know what you will say, where are the videos! I hope you had a great Dia de Muertes!

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