As the world prepares for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, join the Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum for an unforgettable evening featuring six of the greatest U.S. track and field champions and a special screening of a new Olympic documentary. Barrier Breakers: An Evening with Olympic Greats
will pay tribute to the legacy of track and field pioneers, with a special focus on the ground-breaking African Americans who battled segregation during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
A star-studded Olympic panel will feature some of the most decorated athletes in American history, including:
- Bob Beamon, who is best known for his world record in the long jump at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Beamon still holds the Olympic record in the high jump, a mark that if it not broken at the 2016 Games, will span 50 years in 2018.
- John Wesley Carlos, who earned a bronze medal in the 200 meters at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. During those games, Carlos brought international attention to the fight for human and civil rights when he and teammate Tommie Smith raised a black-gloved fist on the medalist’s podium.
- Harrison “Bones” Dillard, a four-time gold medalist who won the 100 meters and the 4 x 100 relay at the 1948 Olympic Games in London as well as the 110 meter hurdles and the 4 x 100 relay at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki. Dillard is the only athlete to win gold medals in both the hurdles and a sprint event.
- Herbert Douglas Jr., who earned a bronze medal in the long jump at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. The oldest living African American Olympian, Douglass is a graduate of Taylor Allerdice High School and the University of Pittsburgh, where he played football and competed in track and field.
- Dr. Charles Lamont Jenkins, a gold medalist in both the 400 meters and the 4 x 400 meter relay in the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.
- Wyomia Tyus, a three-time gold medalist who earned victory in the 100 meters in both the 1964 and 1968 Olympic Games and was part of the 4 x 100 meter relay team that won gold in 1968. She was the first Olympian to retain the Olympic title in the 100 meters.