You may not have seen it, but Sohn is the man at the centre of one of the iconic photographs of Olympic history. It is more understated than the snap of Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the black power salute at Mexico '68, but just as powerful. It was taken on 9 August 1936, at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. It shows three athletes on the podium during the medal ceremony of the Olympic marathon. At the back is the British silver medallist Ernie Harper. He is standing tall, shoulders back and head held high, a proud smile on his face. In front of him are two Korean runners, Sohn, gold medallist, and Nam Sung-yong, bronze medallist. Their heads are bowed and both are staring at their feet in, what they later called, "silent shame and outrage". Sohn is clutching a young oak tree to his chest. Nam would later say how envious he was of his team-mate. Not because of colour of his medal, but because unlike Sohn he had no oak tree to cover up the Japanese flag that was emblazoned across his shirt.We remember the 1936 Olympics for Jesse Owens and his four gold medals. Sohn's was just as defiant a victory. And if history has forgotten that, it is because it was many years before the wider world realised the significance of what he did. Between 1910 and 1948 Korea was part of the Japanese empire, who suppressed the indigenous culture and language. The flags that were raised and the anthem that was played to salute Sohn and Nam were not Korean, but Japanese, and the press and the IOC did not award or record the victory as a Korean triumph, but a Japanese one. Sohn was not even allowed to compete under his own name, but went by the Japanese transliteration, Son Kitei.
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