Charlie Moore was in the stands for the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. It had been 16 years since he won the gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles and the silver in the 4×400 relay at Helsinki 1952.
The Mexico City Games were the first that Moore attended as a spectator. Walking in the American delegation that day – and winning the gold medal days later in the 800 meters – was Madeline Manning-Mims.
“I was very young, I was a sophomore in college,” said Manning-Mims, who was a member of Team USA in four Olympic Games and helped win the silver medal in the 4×400 relay at Munich 1972. “I was on a team that had some of the top sprinters in the world, the TigerBelles.”
While the Tennessee State University TigerBelles dominated sprinting, Manning-Mims won her gold medal in a longer race.
“I was the one woman in the world that broke the myth that women of color could not run long distance,” Manning-Mims said. “It was because they thought we only had quick flex muscles and that we couldn’t run long distance. My performance, in breaking the Olympic record and American record, shattered that myth.”
Listen to more of Moore and Manning-Mims StoryCorps conversation about their development into Olympic track athletes.