Mexico City – 50 Aniversario Mexico 68

  • Olympic City: Mexico City
  • Country: Mexico
  • Edition of the Games: 1968 Summer Olympic Games
100th Anniversary
No official website

 Act I – Exposition

A record of “Olympic firsts” to celebrate

The 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games definitely influenced the course of History in many ways, and first of all through a series of historical “firsts” that had a long-lasting impact. As the last Games of the turbulent 1960s, these Olympics were the first to be held in Latin America, the first in a developing country also the first in a Spanish-speaking country. They were also the first Summer Games organised at high altitude, the first where gender testing and doping disqualification appeared, the first in which a majority of events – and not only opening and closing ceremonies – were broadcasted worldwide in colour, the first where tartan was used on athletics tracks, and the first when a woman lit the Olympic Cauldron. Bob Beamon set a world record that stood until 1991 and Dick Fosbury introduced a new high jump technique, later renamed the Fosbury flop. On the political side, the Mexico City Games remain in all collective memories associated with the Black Power salute by the US athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

Through a year-round programme that celebrated sport, culture and iconic moments, Mexico City revived its Olympic legacy in a very stimulating forward-looking perspective and managed to connect the past and the present in a broader sense that encompassed people, sport and culture.

A celebration to remember and build upon

The Olympic movement was undoubtedly a catalyst for the socio-economic development of Mexico City, so it was essential for the organizers of this Anniversary that the new generations know the background and the impact that these Olympics had on the capital city of the country.

For the Government of Mexico City, celebrating this anniversary represented the opportunity to recover the values linked to sport and Olympism, such as peace and solidarity, respect for others, the culture of effort, the search for excellence and fair play.

This philosophy was aligned with the city’s objectives helping to leverage the main role of sport which had a transversal effect in the development of a more participative citizenship, with better health habits and with world-class sports entertainment options.

The anniversary celebrations accelerated the refurbishment of almost all the purpose built venues of the 1968 Olympic Games being one of the main objectives of the programme. The millions of users of the venues benefited from these works having access not only to better venues but to a broader offer of activities in the Olympic facilities.

The refurbished venues were the perfect stage to celebrate and connect the past with the present, most of the anniversary activities were held in the different venues always aiming to have a great impact in the community involving sport and physical activation.


More information

The full case is available in printable version on the members’ portal

In addition to the above description, the PDF version also gathers practical information including internal and external partners involved; finance and cost; use of the olympic brand; human resources and time; and contact details. 

The World Union of Olympic Cities’ team remains at your disposal for any further information and contact’s facilitation at 

Additional resources can be found through the following links: