Black Gymnasts in History 2018: Gymnastics Firsts & Record Holders

This year, our third year profiling Black Gymnasts in History, we’ve given a different focus. We’ve highlighted some of the most unique accomplishments of gymnasts, from going viral to winning World Championship medals. On this final day of February, we honor the gymnasts whose accomplishments were the first of their kind among black gymnasts and sometimes among gymnasts of any race (and in some cases, the athletes below established records that still stand).

Please click on the names to read our individual profiles, as available, for each athlete below.

James Kanati Allen
First black male gymnast to be named to the U.S. Olympic Team (1968)

Simone Biles
Most decorated American gymnast in history, with 19 Olympic & World Championship medals
American gymnast, male or female, with the most gold medals won at a single Olympic Games (4 in 2016)

Dickie Bivins
First black male gymnast to win an individual medal at the World Championships (1980: Platform tumbling, Bronze & Power Tumbling, Bronze)

Shenea Booth
First black Sports Acro Mixed Pairs world champion (2002, 2004)

Luci Collins
First black female gymnast to be named to the U.S. Olympic Team (1980)

Dominique Dawes
First black female gymnast to attend more than one Olympics (1992, 1996, 200)
First black female gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal (Floor bronze, 1996)
Only American gymnast to be a member of three medal-winning Olympic teams (1992, 1996, 2000)

Gabby Douglas
First black Olympic all-around champion (2012)

Dianne Durham

First black gymnast to win the U.S. Classic (1983)
First black female U.S. all-around champion (1983)
First black female gymnast to win an individual national event title (1983 Vault, Balance Beam, Floor)

Ron Galimore
First black male gymnast to win an individual national event title (1977 Floor, Vault)

Rayshine Harris
Most decorated black U.S. power tumbler (12-time World Champion and 5-time National Champion)

Wendy Hilliard
First black gymnast to represent the USA in rhythmic gymnastics (1980s)

Jair Lynch
First black male gymnast to attend more than one Olympics (1992, 1996)
First black male gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal (Parallel Bars silver, 1996)

Alexandra Nicholson
First black female gymnast to win an individual medal at the World Championships (1972: Trampoline, Gold)
First trampolinist, male or female, to complete the triffis

Sig Oglesby
First black NCAA individual event champion (Vault, 1964):
First black All-American gymnast

Betty Okino
First black gymnast, male or female, to win the American Cup (1991)

John Orozco
First black male U.S. all-around champion (2012)

Taqiy Abdullah Simmons
First black NCAA male all-around champion (2007)

Corrinne Wright
First black NCAA female all-around champion (1980s)

We are proud to salute these record-setting athletes on this final day of Black Gymnasts in History 2018!

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History 2018: Winners of the U.S. Classic

Every year, the U.S. Classic precedes the National Championships, and during an Olympic year, it’s especially significant. Since the competition’s start in 1983, won by Dianne Durham, seven black gymnasts have won the title of U.S. Classic champion. Please take the time to watch these ladies in action!

Dianne Durham, 1983

Dominique Dawes, 1993

Tasha Schwikert, 2001

Annia Hatch, 2002

Olivia Courtney, 2009

Mattie Larson, 2010

Simone Biles, 2014 & 2015

We are proud to salute our Black Gymnasts who have won the U.S. Classic!

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History 2018: American Cup Winners

Winning the annual American Cup is a big deal. Since the competition’s debut in 1976, six black gymnasts have won the coveted title of American Cup champion. Please take the time to watch the winners’ performances!

Betty Okino, 1991

Dominique Dawes, 1994

Tasha Schwikert, 2002

Elizabeth Price, 2014

Simone Biles, 2015

Gabby Douglas, 2016

We are proud to salute our Black Gymnasts who have won the American Cup!

Wendy

Visit our official website at http://www.whfny.org
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Black Gymnasts in History 2018: Multi-Year Olympians


It is such a feat to reach Olympian-status in the sport of gymnastics — it is truly the pinnacle of the sport. What’s remarkable is that three Black Gymnasts have not only earned that honor more than once (Dominique Dawes 3x in 1992, 1996 and 2000; Jair Lynch 2x in 1992 and 1996; and Gabby Douglas 2x in 2012 and 2016), they’ve also all won individual medals. Dominique won a bronze on the floor exercise in 1996; Jair won a silver on parallel bars in 1996; and Gabby won a gold in the all-around in 2012.

Please take the time to read these athletes’ individual profiles (click the links above) and enjoy some videos of their performances at multiple Olympics!

Jair Lynch at the 1992 Olympics

Dominique Dawes at the 1992 Olympics

Jair Lynch at the 1996 Olympics

Dominique Dawes at the 1996 Olympics

Dominique Dawes at the 2000 Olympics

Gabby Douglas at the 2012 Olympics

Gabby Douglas at the 2016 Olympics

Wendy

Visit our official website at http://www.whfny.org
Follow us on Twitter at @WendyHilliardFD
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Follow us on Instagram @wendyhilliardfoundation