By: Krystle Crossman
We are halfway through the 2016 Olympics in Rio and already we have been seeing a major shift in the medals that are being awarded. Black athletes have been dominating in various sports. They have been winning medals, making history, and breaking world records. Here are some of the amazing athletes that have made a name for themselves so far:
1. Gabby Douglas – Douglas has been through the Olympics before and has already made a name for herself but she has been continuing to dominate in 2016. She is best known for being the first African-American woman to bring home the gold in the women’s individual all around gymnastics competition which happened at the 2012 games in London. Unfortunately she will not be competing to defend that title this year but she was a very important part of the Women’s USA gymnastics team’s gold medal win in Rio.
2. Almaz Ayana – This runner from Ethiopia did the unthinkable and broke both the Olympic record and the world record for the 10,000 meter women’s race. She came in at a time of 29:17.3. The Olympic record was 29:54.66 and the world record was 29:31.78.
3. Simone Manuel – Houston, Texas native Simone Manuel made history on August 11th. She is the first African-American female in history to win a gold medal for swimming. She competed in the women’s individual races. Manuel became very emotional during the award ceremony and with good reason. Swimming in the Olympics has had quite the racist past and she is showing everyone that no matter what color your skin is, you can do anything you put your mind to.
4. Rafaela Silva – This Brazilian Olympic judo competitor brought home Brazil’s first gold medal in the 2016 Olympics. She grew up in a poor town in Brazil that was filled with racism and oppression but she persevered.
5. Simone Biles – Biles is perhaps one of the most amazing gymnastic athletes that the world has ever seen. She began competing when she was 16 years old in 2013. Since her very first competition she has been undefeated. She has also won the world championships three years in a row, a feat never before accomplished by a woman. So far in the 2016 Olympics she has won the gold medal in the women’s individual all-around and also helped Team USA win the all-around gold. She hopes to win three more gold medals before the Olympics are over.
6. Ibtihaj Muhammed – Although Muhammed has not won any medals at the games so far but she has made history and stirred a little controversy. She became the first woman to compete in fencing while wearing a hijab. She was trying to send a message to destroy the stereotypes and misinformation about Muslim women.