Athlete's medal given to Sharon Callahan (McKniff) at the 1968 Mexico City Games

Athlete's medal given to Sharon Callahan (McKniff) at the 1968 Mexico City Games

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Description (Brief)
Athlete's medal given to Sharon Callahan (McKniff) at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. Callahan competed in the high jump as a member of the US Olympic track and field team of 1968.
The 1968 Summer Olympic Games, also known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad were held in Mexico City, Mexico with 110 countries and 4,735 men and 781 women athletes participating. These were also the first to be held in Latin America and the first in a Spanish speaking country. The 1968 US Olympic track and field team was one of the most successful track teams’ winning twenty-four medals, including twelve gold. The high altitude of Mexico City was attributed to many of the records broken in the short distance races although those in the endurance races suffered from the lack of oxygen. These games also introduced the world to the Fosbury flop as Dick Fosbury won the gold with a new backward approach to the high jump, 16-year-old Debbie Meyer became the first US woman to win three individual golds in swimming and newcomer, George Foreman won gold in boxing. These Games were the first to subject athletes to drug testing which led to the first disqualification of an athlete after drinking a beer before his pentathlon competition. The politically charged atmosphere around the globe that year also contributed to controversy on the medal podium when two African-American athletes held black gloved hands high and bowed their heads during the National Anthem in response to the civil rights protests prevalent in the United States. The US won the medal count with 107.
Currently not on view
Object Name
athlete's medal
athlete's medal, olympics
date made
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 2 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in x 1/8 in; 6.35 cm x 3.81 cm x.3175 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Track and Field
Olympic Summer Games: Mexico City, 1968
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Sport and Leisure
Sports & Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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