Los Angeles – American sprinter and Olympic activist Lee Evans, the former 400-meter world record holder, died on Wednesday at age 74, USA Track and Field said.
Evans shattered the world record in the men’s 400 meters at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, clocking 43.86 seconds to win gold, before topping the podium again in the 4×400 meter relay. His 400-meter record stood for 20 years.
A prominent activist in the Black Power movement, Evans was a key member of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, which protested against racial segregation and injustice in the U.S. and abroad.
He famously wore a black beret on the podium at the 1968 Olympics, where his fellow Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists as they stood during the medal ceremony for the 200 meters.
Evans enjoyed a lengthy career as a coach, training athletes in 20 different countries.
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