This year’s summer Olympics, being held in Tokyo, Japan beginning July 23rd will be well represented by American athletes, but the story will be the representation of women of color and their dominance in various fields. During the last several days, Olympic trials have been held all over the country – with teenagers and college athletes that range from Division I to CIAA conferences qualifying for Tokyo, changing their lives forever. Not only are these women of color killing the field in their respective sports, they’re doing it flawlessly and with beauty, confidence, and aura. These traits define our black queens.
Here are several athletes who will be favored in their events during the summer Tokyo Olympics.
Sha’Carri Richardson- Running with a heavy heart after learning her biological mother passed away last week, Richardson let everyone know she’s in fact “That Girl”. As she stated, everything she does is for her family. Sha’Carri is looking to become the first woman from America to win the 100M dash since 1996 (Gail Devers). Winning the U.S. Olympic trials with a 10.86, not only is Richardson holding the title as the fastest woman in America, she is looking to win Gold in Tokyo against the heavily favored Jamaican’s Shelly Ann-Fraser-Pryce (fastest time this year 10.63) and Elaine Thompson-Herah (reigning gold medalist). Not only is Sha’Carri burning rubber on the track, but she’s doing it with the lashes, bundles and nails – becoming the face of American track and field.
Simone Biles-What more can we say? 4 Gold medals. The most decorated athlete in the sport of all time. She proclaimed herself the GOAT to clap back at the haters. Simone Biles gives girls of color the confidence that they can compete in a sport that lacks diversity. Biles has changed the gymnastic stage on all accounts and is even judged differently. She is the only woman in the world with the ability to compete the “Yurchenko Double Pike” – which is regarded as the most difficult vault in gymnastics. She completed this vault during the trials, even shocking her self as she later tweeted she couldn’t believe it.
Allyson Felix– Serving the country in her 5th Olympics, winner of 9 medals, 6 which are Gold, Felix is tied for the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (Merlene Ottey), one more would tie Carl Lewis as the most decorated athlete, man or woman. What makes her story even more unique is that this will be her first Olympics as a mother. If you remember back in 2018, Felix was very vocal and standing up for woman rights for equal pay after Nike tried to cut her salary after she became pregnant. After negotiations, Nike created a new maternity policy which protects pregnant athletes’ pay for 18 months around the pregnancy. Felix is well-respected for her courage to standup against the brand, which was marketing her to the future generation, but wanted to cut ties with her for wanting to build a future for herself.
Simone Manuel– If you thought the 2016 Rio Olympics was sensational for Simone, when she became the first African American woman to win a swimming event and first American native to win the event since 1984 (Nancy Hogshead/Carrie Steinseifer), you haven’t seen anything yet. After months of battling depression, anxiety, Covid-19 and overtraining syndrome as she explained, the Olympian never gave up and was determined to excel, which she did winning the 50M freestyle ) by .01 seconds and qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.