From a poor and troubled childhood, Althea Gibson discovered tennis and her talent playing the sport. It was not until the year she was 23 that major tennis competitions were opened to black players like Gibson.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee participated in four Olympics, from 1984 to 1996, taking home three gold medals, one silver and two bronze.
A basketball star who was the first woman player on the Harlem Globetrotters, Lynette Woodard also participated in the 1984 gold medal team in women’s basketball at the 1984 Olympics.
Wyomia Tyus won consecutive Olympic gold medals for the 100-meter dash. Caught up in the black power controversy at the 1968 Olympics, she chose to compete rather than boycott and also chose not to give the black power salute as some other athletes did upon winning medals.