The 2014 winter Olympics will begin in Sochi on Thursday, February 6, 2014. The Olympics have been a celebration of athletic excellence as far back as 776 B.C. You can read more of this fascinating history in this Olympic.org article. But although the Olympics demonstrate athletes from all over the world competing in a spectacular display of good sportsmanship, often, a closer look at the American teams shows a decided lack of diversity.
Blacks have more frequently been seen during, in fact have often excelled in, the summer Olympics. Who can forget the glamorous Olympic gold medalist and track star Florence Joyner? She was affectionately known as Flo Jo and many were stunned and saddened when she died suddenly at the age of 38.
There is also track star and multiple Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt. He shot to stardom during the 2008 Summer Olympics as he blazed his way to three gold medals. He became known as a “lightning bolt” and “the fastest man in the world”. So while blacks have had their moments of glory, they have not been too prevalent in the winter Olympics.
So it is fitting that since February is recognized as National Black History month we recognize some young ladies that could potentially create history in the winter Olympics this year. The United States Bobsled team is bursting out of the gate with five Black women leading the charge. These women will bring a splash of beautiful color against the snow and will show the world a strong, united, and multicultural American team that has come to win.
The five women that will be striving to lead the United States to the gold in the women’s bobsledding events are: Elana Meyers, Pilot; Jazmine Fenlator, Pilot; Lauryn Williams, Brakeman/PushEvans, Brakeman; and Lolo Jones, Brakeman. You can read more about each of these determined and talented ladies here. You can watch the bobsledding competition on NBC beginning February 18, 2014.