Run Through The Tape

I have been hearing this expression over and over these last days. A possibly overused metaphor leading up to tomorrow’s election?

“Just run through the tape!”  

It is a wonderful metaphor, actually. But the reality of it is even more astonishing.

Robert shot every Olympics from the 1956 Winter Games in Cortina (Italy) to the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona. But some of his most iconic images come from his first Summer Olympics in Rome in 1960. Most iconic - Wilma Rudolph winning the final leg of the 4 X 100 relay that September. She would go on to win three gold medals that month. She was the first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympiad.

These images - of her about to breast the tape, then of her with the tape fluttering around her after she runs through it - they feel so very very relevant just now. Especially now, as our nation reminds itself of the courage and brilliance and critical importance of the black lives that have contributed to its wonder. It makes me smile to think of Robert there, in Rome 60 years ago, capturing the beauty of Wilma Rudolph’s win. It’s almost prophetic. The image she leaves behind - of running through the tape - is just what we need right now.

Behind Wilma are silver medalist Jutta Heine (left) of the unified German team, and the Russian Irina Press (center). A Polish team runner placed third, but is out of frame. 

In any case. When you hear all the pundits and political party folks tonight and all through tomorrow talking about “running through the tape” - these are the images that should come to mind. This is how it’s done!

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