African American Women in the Olympics: Doing Themselves and Their Country Proud

From an American standpoint, this marked the first time MORE women medaled at the Olympics than men. The ladies came, saw, and conquered in epic fashion. As for black women, there were some ladies making their mark on history in a big way. Here are the some most notable African American women who competed, but feel free give a shout out to anyone you feel should get some spotlight in the comments:


Serena Williams 

Coming off of an injury which put many in doubt of whether or not she could return to her previous winning form, this year has been the younger William sister’s opportunity to show the world, yes, she’s still got it. Just days after winning her 5th title at Wimbledon, she returned there for the Olympics and ultimately won the gold. She also would pair with sister Venus to win gold in the doubles category, becoming the only pair of tennis players in the history of the games to hold four medals.


Gabrielle Douglas

Much has been said about little Gabrielle during and after the Olympic games and sadly not all of it has been sensible. Still, we can be thankful that history will not remember the non sequitur of the small-minded. It will remember Douglas as the first black woman gymnast to win the individual all-around gold at the games and the first American gymnast to win the gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions in the same year. What she goes on to achieve from here on out is anyone’s guess, but one thing I can say with certainty is that she has opened a big door for many little black girls to walk through.



Claressa Shields

This year’s Olympic games marked the first time women’s boxing was featured at the games. And who took home the gold? None other than seventeen year old Clarissa. In fact, the young middleweight was the only American boxer to win gold.


Making history and being fabulous while doing it? Just another day at the office for African American women.




Note: I’m interested in doing a post about black women competing in the games throughout history. I wanted to get this one in sooner, but I’ve just wrapped up classes and have a breather before the next courses start. Also, should I do a post for non-African American black women who competed?