‘Women in Sport’ has become a common phrase in recent years due to many commendable efforts to break the patriarchy in society.
Thankfully, these efforts are beginning to yield results and that is why we can find so many women participating in the various sporting disciplines.
Woken are taking careers in football, boxing, basketball, weightlifting, athletics, tennis, and even UFC.
Even better, black women, who have been victims of marginalization for many years, are also making their marks in the world of sport.
Let’s take a look at five black women who have greatly excelled in sports:
Very few women have blazed the trail in the world of tennis like Serena Williams. She has won numerous competitions, including Wimbledon, the US Open and a gold medal at the Olympic Games.
Serena’s impact in tennis supersedes just the court, as she has managed to use her influence on others off the court.
She is one of the most successful black persons in the history of the sport, and has been an inspiration to many since she started playing tennis.
Sprinter Wilma Rudolf is another black woman who made a huge impact in track and field. Her rise was against the odds, and that is one of the reasons why she was so endearing.
After being stricken by polio as a kid, Wilma not only beat the disease but went ahead to forge a successful career in athletics.
She became the first American woman to win three gold medals at the Olympic Games following her triumphs in the 100 and 200-meter dash and 400-meter relay at the 1960 Games in Rome.
A year later, she again became the first black woman to win the James E. Sullivan Award, which honors America’s amateur athletics.
As far as black excellence in basketball goes, one cannot leave out Lynette Woodard’s name when it comes to the women’s game.
Not only did she dominate the sport, but her efforts also came to global attention when she became the first woman to join the famous Harlem Globetrotters basketball team.
Woodard went on to become women’s basketball coach at Winthrop University and was inducted into American basketball Hall of Fame after her retirement.
Nowadays, Debi Thomas considers herself as a physician, but those who have followed her for some years know-how impeccable she was as a skater.
For someone who started her skating career at the age of five, it was not surprising the length she went.
Thomas won the U.S. figure skating singles championship, becoming the first black woman to do so. She further became a world champion, with one of her other notable accomplishments being the bronze medal she won at the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Every professional basketball payer dreams of playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) or the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
Sheryl Swoopes was the first player to sign with the latter, having previously excelled at the Texas Tech University basketball team.
Swoopes won the AP Female Athlete of the Year for basketball, adding the National Player of the Year as well. She also won gold at the Olympic Games in 1996, 2000 and 2004.