After an initial ostracization of Smith and Carlos by the U.S. sporting establishment, they both made attempts and continued to be involved in athletics in many ways.
Smith played football for the Cincinnati Bengals. Prior to that he became an assistant professor of Physical Education at Oberlin College. He helped coach the U.S. team at the 1995 World Indoor Championships in Barcelona and in 1999 he was awarded a Sportsman of the Millennium award. Today, he is a public speaker.
Carlos continued to be active in sports as well. The year after being expelled from the Mexico City games, he equaled the world record in the 100m race. He also played football, but for the Philadelphia Eagles. A knee injury ended his career earlier than expected. In 1982 the Organizing Committee for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles hired Carlos to promote the games and to serve as a liaison with the African American community in Los Angeles. He became a track and field coach at a Palm Springs school in 1985 and still holds that position today.
Australian Olympic team member, Norman was reprimanded by his country’s Olympic authorities and was ostracized by the Australian media. During the trials for the 1972 Olympics, Norman finished third in his trials, but sadly was not picked for the Olympic Games. Despite this, Norman kept running, but in 1985 tore his Achilles tendon and contracted gangrene which almost led to the amputation of his leg. After this, it was reported that he fell into depression and began drinking heavily. Norman died on October 3, 2006. Smith and Carlos were pallbearers at Norman’s funeral.