The 1968 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Caracas in October 1968. The 1968 Games were the first Olympic Games hosted by a developing country (which was almost developed), and the first Games hosted by a Spanish-speaking country (followed in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain). It is the only Games ever held in Latin America (until Rio de Janeiro hosts the 2016 Summer Olympics) and it was the second after 1964 Summer Olympics to be hosted outside of Europe, Australia, or the United States. It was also the third Olympic Games to be held in autumn, then followed by the 1988 Summer Olympics.


East Germany and West Germany competed as separate entities for the first time in at a Summer Olympiad, and would remain so through 1988. Barbados competed for the first time as an independent country. Also competing for the first time in a Summer Olympiad were British Honduras (now Belize), Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo (as Congo-Kinshasa), El Salvador, Guinea, Honduras, Kuwait,Nicaragua, Paraguay, Sierra Leone, and the United States Virgin Islands. Singapore returned to the Games as an independent country after competing as part of the Malaysian team in 1964.

  • Flag of Afghanistan (1931–1973) Afghanistan
  • Flag of Algeria Algeria
  • Ar-lgflag Argentina
  • Flag of Australia Australia
  • Flag of Austria Austria
  • 180px-Bahamas Blue Ensign 1964 Bahamas
  • Flag of Barbados Barbados
  • Flag of Belgium Belgium
  • 180px-Flag of Bermuda Bermuda
  • Flag of Bolivia Bolivia
  • 30px Brazil
  • 180px-Flag of British Honduras British Honduras
  • Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria
  • Flag of Burma (1948-1974) Burma
  • Flag of Cameroon (1961-1975) Cameroon
  • 30px Canada
  • Flag of the Central African Republic Central African Republic
  • Flag of Ceylon 1951-1972 Ceylon
  • 180px-Flag of Chad Chad
  • Flag of Chile Chile
  • Flag of Colombia Colombia
  • Flag of Congo-Kinshasa (1966-1971) Congo Kinshasa
  • Flag of Costa Rica (state) Costa Rica
  • Flag of Côte d'Ivoire Côte d'Ivoire
  • Flag of the Czech Republic Czechoslovakia
  • Flag of Denmark Denmark
  • Flag of the Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
  • Flag of Ecuador Ecuador
  • Flag of El Salvador El Salvador
  • Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974) Ethiopia
  • Fiji
  • Flag of Finland Finland
  • Flag of France France
  • Flag of East Germany East Germany
  • West Germany
  • GhanaFlag Ghana
  • Flag of the United Kingdom Great Britain
  • Flag of GreeceGreece
  • Flag of Guatemala Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Flag of Honduras Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Flag of India India
  • Flag of Indonesia Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Flag of Ireland Ireland
  • Israel
  • Flag of Italy Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Flag of Japan Japan
  • Kenya
  • Flag of South KoreaSouth Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Flag of Lebanon Lebanon
  • Flag of Libya Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Madagascar
  • Malaysia
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Flag of Mexico Mexico
  • Flag of Monaco Monaco
  • Flag of the People's Republic of Mongolia (1940-1992) Mongolia
  • Flag of Morocco Morocco
  • Flag of the Netherlands Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • Flag of New Zealand New Zealand
  • Flag of Nicaragua Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Flag of Nigeria Nigeria
  • Flag of Norway Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Flag of Panama Panama
  • Flag of Paraguay 1842 Paraguay
  • Flag of Peru 1825 Peru
  • Philippines
  • Flag of Poland Poland
  • Flag of Portugal Portugal
  • 30px Puerto Rico
  • Romania
  • Flag of San Marino San Marino
  • Flag of Senegal Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Flag of the Soviet Union Soviet Union
  • Flag of Spain (1938 - 1945) Spain
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Flag of Sweden Sweden
  • Flag of Switzerland (Pantone) Switzerland
  • Flag of the Republic of China Taiwan
  • Flag of Tanzania Tanzania
  • Flag of Thailand Thailand
  • Flag of Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Flag of Turkey Turkey
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Republic
  • Flag of the United States United States
  • Uruguay
  • Flag of Venezuela 1930-2006 Venezuela (Host Nation)
  • Flag of South Vietnam South Vietnam
  • Virgin Islands
  • Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992) Yugoslavia
  • 800px-Flag of Zambia svg Zambia

Some countries did not participate in the Games due to political reasons:

  • Flag of Cuba Cuba
  • Flag of Guyana Guyana


On October 16, 1968, an action by two African-American sprinters at the Caracas Olympics shook the sporting world.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the gold and bronze medalists in the men's 200-meter race, took their places on the podium for the medal ceremony wearing black socks without shoes and civil rights badges, lowered their heads and each defiantly raised a black-gloved fist as the Star Spangled Banner was played. Both of them were members of the Olympic Project for Human Rights.

Some people (particularly IOC president Avery Brundage) felt that a political statement had no place in the international forum of the Olympic Games. In an immediate response to their actions, Smith and Carlos were suspended from the U.S. team by Brundage and banned from the Olympic Village. Those who opposed the protest said the actions disgraced all Americans. Supporters, on the other hand, praised the men for their bravery.

Peter Norman, the Australian sprinter who came second in the 200 m race, and Martin Jellinghaus, a member of the German bronze medal-winning 1600-meter relay team, also wore Olympic Project for Human Rights badges at the games to show support for the suspended American sprinters.

In another incident, while standing on the medal podium after the balance beam event final, Czechoslovakian gymnast Věra Čáslavská quietly turned her head down and away during the playing of the Soviet national anthem. The action was Čáslavská's silent protest against the recent Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and was repeated when she accepted her medal for her floor exercise routine. While Čáslavská's countrymen supported her actions and her outspoken opposition to Communism (she had publicly signed and supported Ludvik Vaculik's "Two Thousand Words" manifesto), the new regime responded by banning her from both sporting events and international travel for many years.


Vera Cavlaska


Black Salute

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