Vandals Damage Statue of ’68 Olympian Tommie Smith

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Officials at San Jose State University say someone damaged a statue of famed Olympian Tommie Smith, who was expelled from the 1968 Mexico Games for bowing his head and thrusting a black-gloved fist toward the sky in support of the U.S. Civil Rights movement.

SJSU spokeswoman Pat Lopes Harris says a replica gold medal on the statue was found missing on Thursday morning, with fragments of it scattered on the ground near the statue.

Harris says the incident is either an act of vandalism or an attempt to recycle what was assumed to be a valuable piece of metal.

The statue — erected in 2005 — shows Smith raising his fist after winning the gold medal in the 200-meter sprint. Smith attended San Jose State.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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