Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The Stand: How One Gesture Shook The World

The image is iconic, one with which all those interested in Olympic history and the civil rights movement are most familiar. Less well known, however, is the story around it, the journey taken by Tommie Smith and John Carlos to the medal rostrum at the 1968 Mexico Games.

That tale, and the social and political context around it, is the subject of the latest film by Kimbia Athletics director Tom Ratcliffe who, together with Becky Paige, made The Stand: How One Gesture Shook The World.

Released yesterday, the 69-minute film features revealing interviews and insights from the surviving protagonists of that seminal moment in history, and it has so far received superb reviews.

“Powerful and electric, ‘The Stand’ boldly and clearly delivers the message that the ‘Olympic rings should tie the world together, not tear it apart,'” wrote Bob Ramsak for World Athletics. “Critically, it transcends sport like the gesture did at the time. Given current worldwide events, its release could not be better timed.”

Jonathan Gault of wrote that “the true value of the film is its ability to place that moment on the podium into context.”

“It’s worth the watch. While the entire film is, nominally, about ‘The Stand,’ the segment dedicated to the gesture itself runs just seven of the film’s 69 minutes. Which makes sense when you consider the medal ceremony lasted less than two minutes and the protest itself had only been planned shortly beforehand, after the 200m final had taken place earlier that day.”

Steve Warren of Insite Atlanta wrote that it was ” a good story well told by the people who lived it.”

Alex Billington of wrote that it is “a revealing exploration into the circumstances that led runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos to that historic moment at the Mexico City Games, mining the great personal risks they took and the subsequent fallout they endured.”

John Defore of the Hollywood Reporter: “An iconic image of protest gets its backstory explored in The Stand, Tom Ratcliffe and Becky Paige’s look at two Black Olympians who raised their fists and bowed their heads at the 1968 Mexico City games. Reminding viewers that Colin Kaepernick was far from the first athlete to be told he should keep his principles off the field, the straightforward but welcome doc doesn’t need to spell out how many of its protagonists’ concerns remain pressing today.”

Watch The Stand on Amazon or on the following platforms:

Digital: iTunes, Google Play, Microsoft, Vudu, FandangoNOW
Cable: iNdemand, Bell, DirecTV, Dish, Telus, Vubiquity




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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Schweizer flies to 1500m PR in Portland

Karissa Schweizer had another breakthrough performance at the Bowerman Track Club intrasquad meeting in Portland on Tuesday night, clocking 4:00.02 for 1500m to take victory.

Reeling off a 62-second last lap, the 24-year-old carved almost three seconds off her former best to move to eighth on the all-time US list. Fellow Kimbia athletes Courtney Frerichs and Elise Cranny also impressed, with Frerichs finishing third in 4:07.39 and Cranny fourth in 4:07.94.

In the men’s race, Marc Scott turned in a fine performance to finish second to teammate Mohammed Ahmed in 3:35.93, a seven-second personal best. Fellow Kimbia athletes Grant Fisher (3:36.23), Evan Jager (3:36.31) and Sean McGorty (3:37.12) followed close behind in third, fourth and fifth respectively. Lopez Lomong assisted with pace-making, and was quickest in the subsequent 600m, clocking 1:22.04.

The night concluded with a mixed 4x400m, which was won by Evan Jager, Elise Cranny, Grant Fisher and Courtney Frerichs.

Elsewhere Henry Wynne was in action at The Bigger Friendly meet last weekend, the Brooks Beasts athlete finishing third in the 3000m in 8:00.07 behind Craig Engels and Suguru Osako.

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

McGorty details comeback story

In a feature interview with Runner’s World, Sean McGorty outlined the struggles he encountered in 2019 that ruled him out for the season. The Bowerman Track Club athlete revealed how close he had come to losing his career due to a staph infection in his foot.

“July, August, and September were some of the hardest months of my life, but whether it’s stubbornness or drive, the goals never shifted,” he said. “If I let myself sit on the worst outcomes, it wasn’t going to help.”

“The dark and hard moments with running can teach you a lot about yourself. When you have it taken away, you really see how much it means. I’m incredibly fortunate this is what I get to do with my life.”

After a promising indoor season, McGorty opened his summer campaign with a big PR over 5000m late last month, clocking 13:11.22 in Portland.

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Schweizer, Lomong power to huge PRs in Portland

Karissa Schweizer and Lopez Lomong produced a pair of stunning performances at the Nike Bowerman Track Club intra-squad meeting in Portland on Friday night.

Schweizer finished a close runner-up to teammate Shelby Houlihan in the women’s 5000m, clocking 14:26.34 to take 19 seconds off her personal best, which moved her to 14th on the world all-time list. Houlihan took victory in an American record of 14:23.92.

“I’m training with my biggest competitor every day,” said Schweizer. “I would say we’re very good teammates, but we’re competitors.”

Courtney Frerichs and Elise Cranny cruised home in third and fourth after assisting with pace-making duties.

In the men’s race, Lopez Lomong broke 13 minutes for the first time, clocking 12:58.78 to come home 11 seconds behind teammate Mohammed Ahmed. Kimbia athletes Marc Scott, Grant Fisher, Evan Jager and Sean McGorty all assisted with pace-making.

“I give all the credit to my teammates,” Lomong said.”We’re all building from each other.”

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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Kimbia athletes power to fast times in Portland

A horde of Kimbia athletes were in action on Tuesday night at an intra-squad meeting of the Nike Bowerman Track Club in Portland.

Sean McGorty impressed with 13:11.22 to win the 5000m, taking 10 seconds off his previous best. He edged teammate Grant Fisher, second in 13:11.68 to take 18 seconds off his personal best. Evan Jager came home third in an impressive 13:12.12.

In the women’s 5000m, Elise Cranny smashed her personal best with a time of 14:48.02, 36 seconds faster than she ever ran before and the seventh fastest time in US history. Just behind her came Courtney Frerichs, who broke 15 minutes for the first time with her 14:50.06.

In the men’s 1500m, Josh Thompson edged victory in a photo finish over fellow Kimbia athlete Lopez Lomong, both athletes credited with 3:39.66.

Karissa Schweizer had another storming run in the women’s 1500m, finishing a close second to Shelby Houlihan in 4:02.81 and taking four seconds off her previous best.


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