Olympians: Black History Month Feature

Written by: Amber Baldwin

Here are some black athletes who have all been a part of Team U.S.A. over the years at the Winter Olympics to celebrate Black History Month.

Debi Thomas (1967-present)

Debi Thomas is the first black athlete to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. She placed third in figure skating in 1988. Thomas started skating at the age of five and started competing at nine. In 1986 she placed first at the World Championships. During that same year, she also won a Candace Award for Trailblazing from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. She is still the only black woman from the United States to win a medal in figure skating.

Vonetta Flowers (1973-present)
In 2002 Vonetta Flowers became the first black athlete to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics when she and Jill Bakken placed first in the two-women bobsled event. Flowers also placed third in the 2004 World Championships with Jean Racine-Prahm. The pair also competed at the 2006 Winter Olympics, where they placed sixth.

Shani Davis (1982-present)
Shani Davis is the first black athlete to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in an individual competition. Davis completed in speedskating. He has two Olympic gold medals and two Olympic silver medals. Shani Davis has also set nine world records and was the inspiration for the character Frozone from the movie The Incredibles.

Jordan Greenway (1997-present)
Jordan Greenway is the first black person to be on the U.S.A. Olympic ice hockey team. He completed at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The team that year placed seventh out of twelve teams. Greenway has also won gold at the 2015 IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship and the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.

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