International Athletics

US Olympic track legend dies

2014-07-15 20:45
Olympics (File)

Washington - Former US athlete Alice Coachman Davis, the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, has died. She was 90.

Davis, an American track and field star who took the top spot in women's high jump at the 1948 London Olympics -- passed away Monday in the southern US state of Georgia after a recent stroke, her daughter told the The New York Times.

A Georgia native who experienced racial segregation firsthand, Davis was inducted into both the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame and the US Olympic Hall of Fame.

She won 10 consecutive US outdoor high jump titles from 1939-1948, the first coming at only age 16 and captured 25 national crowns overall.

Also a sprint star, Davis captured the American outdoor 50m crown from 1943-1947, the US outdoor 100m title in 1942, 1945 and 1946 and the US 50m indoor titles in 1945 and 1946.

At the 1948 Olympics, where King George VI presented her with her medal, Davis set both an Olympic and American high jump record by clearing 1.68 meters.

"Alice literally set the bar with her accomplishments at the 1948 Games, but Olympic champion is only part of the incredible legacy she leaves behind," Scott Blackmun, chief executive of the US Olympic Committee, said in a statement.

"Alice Coachman Davis has inspired generation of athletes to be their best and she will be missed."

Davis was aware of her role as a pioneer and role model for other black women athletes, telling The Times in 1996: "If I had gone to the Games and failed, there wouldn't be anyone to follow in my footsteps."

After retiring from competitive sports, she went on to become a coach and schoolteacher.

Read more on:    athletics
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Froome to skip 2015 TDF?

17 minutes ago

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.