Wednesday, November 4, 2020

V 10 N. 76 Larry Questad, US Sprinter 1968 Olympics R.I.P.

 Larry Questad 1943-2020

Larry Questad, Tommy Smith, John Carlos 
after making the 1968 Olympic team

      Larry Questad,  Livingston, Montana,  Stanford University, world class sprinter passed away recently near his home in Caldwell, ID. 
Questad, the third US entrant in the now famous or infamous depending on your political bent, 200 meters at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, finished 6th in that memorable race.  

Larry Questad with Stanford teammates Bob McIntyre
Dale Rubin, and Eric frische

I was curious about the origin of the name 'Questad'.  Apparently it is an anglicization of the Norwegian surname  'Kvistad'. 

Finish at Olympic Trials  Carlos 19.7 WR

Tommie Smith, and Larry Questad

Questad, a multiple NCAA champion and one of the fastest men in the world at the time, preferred to be known as a fast man not the 'fastest white man' as he was often referred to by the press.  Though he did not approve of the raised fist gestures of John Carlos and Tommie Smith, he still managed to deal with it and came to better terms later with Smith though not necessarily with Carlos.    

Olympic Final  L-R  Peter Norman, Questad, Carlos, Smith

More about Larry Questad and this incident are dealt with in the link below, by Jeff Welsch at

Larry Questad, a Remarkable Sprinter

  Such an interesting article since I knew very little of that.  There was a tremendous push at the 1968 Olympic Trials among the Black athletes to sweep the sprints and hurdles but evidently that was not quite possible.  I suspect his reaction to the fist-raising had more to do with his raising in Montana and being white than anything else.  Peter Norman was just as white but his parents were Salvation Army workers who oozed of compassion and social justice so his reaction was much different.  Had those events occurred today during the Trump era, I suspect the chasm between Questand and Carlos and Smith would have been even greater.  

   I am entirely in agreement that Livingston HS should not have expunged his records but instead should have listed the yards records separately as records for all time.  The same thing happened to Lamar Pryor who was dropped as if he had never run.  All I can say is that many of those high schools gave away their best records.
   Bill Schnier

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