Events & Author Appearances

The Track in the Forest
Meet the Author: Bob Burns
Barnes & Noble, 1163 Valley River Center Drive, Eugene, OR 97402 (map it)
Friday, October 19, 2018 - 6:00pm
Join author Bob Burns for a discussion and signing of his new book, The Track in the Forest. 
related book
The Track in the Forest
The Track in the Forest ›
By Bob Burns
Price 26.99


Published Oct 2018

The 1968 US men's track and field team featured such legends as Tommie Smith, Bob Beamon, Al Oerter, and Dick Fosbury and they won 12 gold medals and set six world records at the Mexico City Games, one of the most dominant performances in Olympic history. The Black Power protest of Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the victory stand in Mexico City remains a most enduring images of the games. A 400-meter track carved out of the Eldorado National Forest above Lake Tahoe played a role in molding that juggernaut. To acclimate US athletes for the elevation of Mexico City, the training camp and final Olympic selection was held at Echo Summit near the California-Nevada border. On a track in which hundreds of trees were left on the infield to minimize environmental impact, four world records fell—more than have been set at any US meet since. But the Vietnam War was raging, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, and a group of athletes from San Jose State had been threatening to boycott the Mexico City Games to protest racial injustice. Informed by dozens of interviews and the deep knowledge of sports journalist and track enthusiast Bob Burns, this is the story of how in one of the most divisive years in American history, a California mountaintop provided an incomparable group of Americans shelter from the storm.