Black Gymnasts in History 2017: Wendy Hilliard

 

Photo by Kenn Duncan

It is February 1, 2017

–So much going on today! It is the first day of Black History Month, Langston Hughes’ birthday, National Girls and Women in Sports Day, AND it is the first day of our 2nd annual Black Gymnasts in History series.

I will lead off the series today. I have a lot to celebrate- I am Black, a female athlete, and I was the first black rhythmic gymnast to represent the USA in international competition.

wh4
It is important to remember that to break barriers, to fight for inclusion and acceptance, to achieve equal access and rights for all Americans, takes a struggle – a constant and persistent fight to do the right thing.

My experiences led me to become an advocate. I had to stand up for myself as a Black gymnast and to stand up for the rights of all female athletes as the first Black and gymnast to serve as President of the Women’s Sports Foundation, and for over 20 years making sure underserved youth have access to exceptional gymnastics training in Harlem, NYC, and in my hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

wh1

 

It was tough but I always had support – God, my parents and family, their friends, my coaches, my friends and teammates, champion athlete mentors, the Women’s Sports Foundation, the Board of the WHGF, our sponsors, partners, donors, my staff, gymnastics students, and their parents – all have been there on this journey.

wh3

 

Here’s the lesson – the fight is always worth it!

We have some incredible superstar Black gymnasts, fierce female athletes and thousands of healthy kids cartwheeling their way to become strong and productive citizens.

wendysig

“Let America be America where equality is in the air we breathe.” – Langston Hughes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Hilliard

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/langston-hughes

http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month

http://ngwsd.org

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s