Track and Field and the Olympics

What black women have achieved in track and field?

Black women have been record-setting athletes in track and field. High jumper Alice Coachman Davis (1923–) became the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, at the 1948 Olympics in London. She paved the way for generations of black American athletes to come, including legendary Wilma Rudolph (1940–1994), who overcame a serious disability to win three gold medals in the 1960 Olympics; Florence Delorez Griffith-Joyner (1959–1998), winner of three gold and one silver medal at the 1988 Olympics; and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1962–), Olympic champion in the heptathlon in the 1988 Olympics.

Six-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt is taking up the baton in track first carried by black track stars like Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis.


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