Can Rio handle all of Team USA’s melanin? Of course they can.
I am not an athlete—in fact I don’t have one athletic bone in my body. I once got into an argument with my tee ball coach about the logistics of hitting the ball, then running in a circle just to get back to the same place I started. I was 5, and clearly destined for another path.
But I always admired athletes from afar, my dad and uncles played football, my mom and aunts played softball, my brother played soccer—and I, well I was the theatre kid. I could ACT like I was sprinting. I could act like I was swimming. I would act out gymnastics routines and pretend to hit the tennis ball back and forth. Well, I’m still that girl, but I’ve gained a new sense of pride as I’m seeing more and more Olympians who look like me, with hair like mine—regular black girls, just like me. They may not know me personally, but I appreciate their hustle, dedication, perseverance and strength because I see them all as role models, not only for me, but for many girls across the country.
Anyways, enough about me – here’s a list of the black girls to watch at this year’s Olympics in Rio!
Simone Biles – Gymnastics
Tori Bowie- Track and Field – Long Jump, 100m, 200m
Michelle Carter – Track & Field Shot Put
Vashti Cunningham – Track and Field – High Jump
Gabrielle Douglas – Gymnastics
Allyson Felix- Track and Field – Sprinter
English Gardner- Track and Field – Sprinter
Brittney Griner- Basketball
Dawn Harper-Nelson- Track and Field – 100m Hurdles
Ashleigh Johnson- Water Polo – Goalkeeper
Shamier Little – Track and Field – 400m Hurdles
Simone Manuel- Swimming
Alysia Montaño- Track and Field – Middle Distance Runner
Maya Moore – Basketball
Lia Neal – Swimming – Freestyle Events
Candice Parker – Basketball
Claressa Shields- Boxing
Serena Williams – Tennis
Venus Williams – Tennis
Ajee Wilson- Track and Field – Middle Distance
Get it girls! U-S-A! U-S-A!