• Minerve Jean

5 Badass Black Olympians to Check Out

With Simone Bile’s record-breaking phenomenal wins, we thought it would be a great time to highlight some amazing Black Olympians who deserve the spotlight. It’s not easy to be an athlete, but these 5 Black women have proved that not only does representation matter, but that one’s hard work inspires millions.


1. Simone Manuel

Simone Manuel is a competitive swimmer who specializes in sprint freestyle. In the 2016 Rio Olympics, she won two gold and two silver medals. Manuel became the first Black woman to place in the top three spots in the 100-yard freestyle event in any Division I NCAA Swimming Championship, obtaining a gold medal. She officially turned pro in July 2018.


2. Nicola Adams, OBE

Nicola Adams is one of Britain’s most successful female boxers who has made her mark. The former boxer became a legend after winning Britain’s first female boxing gold medal in Britain 2012 and a second gold medal in Rio 2016. She was also featured in Britain’s Powerlist as one of the most influential people of African/Caribbean descent. Nicola was appointed MBE in 2013 and OBE in 2016.


3. Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix is an American track and field sprinter. She competed in her first major game at just 18 years old in the 2004 summer games in Athens and earned a second place silver medal. In 2005, she became the youngest person to compete at the world championships. Allyson also became the first American woman to win three gold medals at an Olympics since Florence Griffith-Joyner at the 1988 Olympics and Allyson is currently one of the most decorated female athletes.


4. Kare Adenegan

Kare Adenegan is a British wheelchair athlete who specializes in sprint distances. She competed at the 2016 Summer Paralympics at the age of 15 and won a silver medal and two bronze medals. In 2018, she won the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award. In that same year, she also set an amazing new world record at the London Müller Anniversary Games.


5. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

Shelly-Ann is a Jamaican track and field sprinter. She is the first Caribbean woman to win a gold medal in the100-meter at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She is also the only sprinter in the world to win four World Championship 100-meter titles and currently holds more global titles than any other female sprinter.



These five Black Olympian women have solidified their places in history and continue to inspire and achieve great things. We see us in them, and we hope that their legacy creates more Black female athletes who continue to break barriers in the world of athletics. Who is your favorite Black female athlete?


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Minerve Jean is a Haitian-born storyteller who shares her poetry and writings unapologetically. She believes in the power of words and their ability to help and heal. Her debut book, For The Secrets That Gave Themselves Away, is an anthology of raw poetry where she uses words to paint pictures that will resonate with the human soul. She has also contributed pieces to Hercampus, Orange and Blue Magazine and MLNNNYC. In her free time, she likes to snack on Avocado toast and curl up with a good book.