What black gymnast was the first to compete on a U.S. Olympic team?

Among black women gymnasts in the United States, the named Dominique Dawes is among the most prominent. Dominique Margaux Dawes (1976–) became the first black woman gymnast to compete on a United States Olympic team. She was joined by Elizabeth Anna (Betty) Okino (1975–) in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Dawes won a bronze medal at the games and two silver medals at the World Gymnasts Championships Competition held in Birmingham, England. Okino, born in Uganda, won bronze at the 1992 games and a silver team medal and individual bronze at the World Championships held in Indianapolis in 1991. In 1994 Dawes swept all five events in the National Gymnastics Championships held in Nashville. She was the first black woman gymnast to win a national championship and the first woman to win a sweep since 1969. At the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, Dawes helped the U.S. women’s team win its first Olympic gold medal.

Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas is the first black woman to win gold in the all-around gymnastics competition at the Olympics.


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