The First African Americans to Win Olympic Medals

Since the beginning of the first Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896, the gathering of the world’s leading athletes has become a global event. But with historic discrimination and fewer elite training opportunities, black athletes have faced immense challenges to compete. However, from the beginning of the 20and century, African-American athletes began to compete in the Games and break records.

Although Olympians like Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis and Simon Biles are household names, many African American athletes have broken down barriers at the Winter and Summer Games. Below are six Black American Olympian pioneers.

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