Monday, February 22, 2016

They Too Were Olympians

The following Olympians may not receive as much press or notoriety as other Olympic athletes, but these men and women are no less deserving of recognition.

Dominique Dawes and Elizabeth Okino- These two spunky athletes were the first African Americans to compete on a U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. They went to the 1992 games in Barcelona, Spain, and one of them was on the 1996 Olympic gymnastics team that won a gold medal for the first time in U.S. history. Elizabeth, now known as Betty, is an actress who has appeared on television shows like The District, Moesha, and Z Games.

 Anita Luceete DeFrantz- She was the first African American elected to the International Olympic Committee, and she also won a bronze medal in the Montreal Olympics in 1976, as the first African American to compete in the rowing competition for the U.S.

DeHart Hubbard- Mr. Hubbard was the first African American to win a gold medal in an individual event long jump.

Wilma Rudolph- As a polio survivor who would have guessed that this Olympic athlete would win three gold medals at the 1960 Olympic games, becoming the first American woman to achieve this feat.

Some of the people featured here are included in a Black History Month display that is in the Sullivan Lexington library. The display will be up through Thursday, February 25, and the library staff encourages you to come by the library and browse through it.
Sources: Editors. (22 February 2016). Wilma Rudolph Biography. Retrieved from:

Minerva Collier Associates, Ltd. (2016). Betty Okino: Biography. Retrieved from:

Smith, J.C. (2003). Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historical Events. Visible Ink: Detroit.

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