When two Black sprinters raised their fists in protest at the 1968 Olympic Games, it shook the world. More than 50 years later, the ripple effects of their activism are still felt. In this new series from Pushkin Industries, get to know the runners who took a stand, and the coaches and mentors who helped make them fast enough — and brave enough — to change the world. Hosted by Malcolm Gladwell.
Running in Recycled Shoes from What's Your Problem?
27:17Here's a special episode of another Pushkin podcast, What's Your Problem? Every week on What's Your Problem?, former Planet Money host Jacob Goldstein talks with entrepreneurs and engineers about the future they’re trying to build – and the problems they have to solve to get there. Caspar Coppetti is the co-founder of On, a company that makes athletic shoes. Caspar's problem is this: How can you sell tens of millions of shoes a year – and then take them all back, to turn them into new shoes? The company's latest bid to attract new customers? A shoe subscription service. Hear more from What's Your Problem? at apple.co/wyp.
Introducing Good Sport: Something in the Water: Where Do Great Athletes Come From?
36:01Here's a preview from Good Sport, a new show from TED. “Muck City”, Florida. Kinston, North Carolina. The courts of New York City in the 80s and 90s. These places share one unique trait: they found a way to produce a particular kind of great athlete, over and over. Is there something in the water – or is it something else? In our first episode, Jody talks to sports journalist Bomani Jones and Olympic table tennis coach Rajul Sheth about talent “hotbeds”, the role opportunity and access play in crafting success and the important distinction between having talent and achieving greatness. Find Good Sport wherever you get your podcasts.
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Episode 6: Live in Eugene
44:26Legendary sprinters Wyomia Tyus, Ato Boldon and Tommie Smith join host Malcolm Gladwell live on stage for a conversation about sports and activism. Recorded live at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon. If you’d like to keep up with the most recent news from this and other Pushkin podcasts be sure to subscribe to our email list at Pushkin.fm.
Bonus: Just Relax with Malcolm Gladwell
7:28Writer and podcast host Malcolm Gladwell is guest hosting an entire week of the podcast, Radio Headspace. He'll be discussing how to increase performance in your personal and professional life. Today, he talks about how superstar track and field coach, Bud Winter, discovered that relaxation can lead to big wins.
Episode 5: The Legacy
37:50The track in San Jose has been turned into a parking lot. But the legacy of Speed City is alive and well, on and off the track. More than half a century after Tommie Smith and John Carlos sprinted their way into the spotlight and shocked the world with a silent protest on the victory stand, the ripple effects of their actions can still be felt today. Their mentor Dr. Harry Edwards is still a central figure in the world of sports too. He works closely with activist athletes like Colin Kaepernick and consults with professional sports leagues on issues of racial equity. And the coaching methods of Bud Winter? They transformed the sport, and are deep in the DNA of some of the world’s best sprinters.
Episode 4: The Mexico City Games
34:50After months of debate about whether to boycott or not, our trio of Speed City sprinters are headed to Mexico City. In this episode, we zoom in on those fateful days: From the penultimate race that left Tommie Smith injured, to the world-record breaking 200M finals, to Smith and Carlos’ protest and expulsion from the games. Then, their teammate Lee Evans is set to run his races, but the pressure of the games – and whether and how to protest – almost keeps him off the track altogether. Coach Bud Winter plays a quiet but important role throughout these days, where his relaxation training faces its biggest challenge yet: Young athletes thrust onto a global stage with the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Episode 3: Exit, Voice or Loyalty
35:07Tommie Smith. Lee Evans. John Carlos. Hear how these three legendary sprinters all ended up at San Jose State. They spurred each other to record-breaking success – and became leaders in the movement to boycott the 1968 Olympic Games. Their mentor and professor Dr. Harry Edwards found them to be the perfect students for his “Revolt of the Black Athlete”. The tragedy and chaos in America leading up to the Games made the decision to take a stand seem essential. But not all athletes wanted to miss their shot to compete.
Episode 2: Building a Movement
29:46By the early 1960s, Speed City was earning a reputation for breaking records. But Bud Winter’s track program was broke. He stretched his scholarship budget so far that many athletes struggled to make ends meet. That, coupled with the racism Black athletes faced on the mostly white campus of San Jose, ignited the budding activist Dr. Harry Edwards. He wanted to take a page out of the playbook being written by civil rights leaders of the moment like Dr. King. And he realized the attention paid to Black athletes gave them the power to be heard.
Episode 1: Relax and Win
35:00A small group of people — all connected to a second-tier state college — revolutionized coaching and athletic activism in the 1960s. In this episode, we hear how coach Bud Winter took what he learned from working with fighter pilots in World War II and created a system for training sprinters at San Jose State. His “Relax and Win” methods used breathing, visualization and other unconventional coaching techniques to create a powerhouse track program. Another thing that made him unique at the time? His focus on recruiting Black athletes to a mostly white school.
Coming Soon: Legacy of Speed
2:56When two Black sprinters raised their fists in protest at the 1968 Olympic Games, it shook the world. More than 50 years later, the ripple effects of their activism are still felt. In this new series from Pushkin Industries, get to know the runners who took a stand, and the coaches and mentors who helped make them fast enough — and brave enough — to change the world. Hosted by Malcolm Gladwell. If you’d like to keep up with the most recent news from this and other Pushkin podcasts be sure to sign up for our email list at Pushkin.fm.