Front and center at the winter Olympic games in Sochi, Russia are five black athletes who could, individually, make more Olympic black history. Beginning with speed skater Shani Davis, who already made history by becoming the first Black male athlete to win a Winter Games Olympic individual sport medal in 2006. Davis could become the first American to win three straight Olympic gold medals if he wins the 1000-meter again on Wednesday then the 1500-meter on Saturday.
Lolo Jones was a famous hurdler at the games last year, barely missing a medal in fourth place. This year, she decided to switch climates to bobsledding and hopes to take home the gold with her team. Jones’ bobsled teammate Lauryn Williams won a gold medal during the Summer Games in London in the women’s 4×100-meter relay team. If Williams wins a gold medal bobsledding, she’ll become the first woman to ever win a gold medal in both the summer and winter Olympics.
Other black members of the bobsledding team, Aja Evans (position: breaker) and Jasmine Fenlator (position: diver) are set to make history with the team as well. The team of women hope to become the only African-American women to win a Winter Olympic medal after their predecessor, Vonetta Flowers who took the gold in 2002. Aja Evans hails as a shot-put athlete from the University of Illinois. She began working with bobsleds in 2012 and is now part of the U.S. women’s team.
Jazmine Fenlator has been training with bobsleds since 2007. While training for the Olympics her family suffered the loss of their home in Hurricane Irene. Despite the family’s setback, they were able to support Fenlator’s dream of being a part of the women’s bobsled team.
The rest, could be history.
Black Olympians Representing at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games
1. Lolo Jones- U.S. Bobsled Team1 of 7
2. The Jamaican Bobsled team2 of 7
3. Aja Evans3 of 7
4. Shani Davis- USA Speed Skater4 of 7
5. Jazmine Fenlator5 of 7
6. Elana Meyers (left)6 of 7
7. Lauryn Williams (right)- USA Bobsled team7 of 7