The opening games for the London 2012 Olympics Games is still nearly two months away, but now is a good time to get to know the African-American athletes who will be competing for gold, silver and bronze medals.
Track and Field
Jones is the most followed U.S. track and field athlete on Twitter. She specializes in the 60m and 100m hurdles. She was favored to win the 100m hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but tripped on the penultimate hurdle, finishing in seventh place. She went on to win silver at the 2008 World Athletics Final and is the American record holder in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.72.
Four years ago, Jones swam the third leg of Team USA’s historic world-record-setting 4×100 meter freestyle relay, of course winning gold. He’ll be entering the London games hoping to capture his second gold medal.
Outside the pool, Jones works with Make a Splash to help promote water safety for children and has been dedicated in teaching African-American children how to swim.
Douglas, a two-time member of the U.S. National Gymnastics Team, was a member of the U.S. team that won gold in the team finals at the 2011 World Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, Japan. She also was a part of the gold winning USA team at the Pacific Rim Championships.
In 2006, Shields learned the boxing story of Muhammad Ali’s daughter, Laila Ali. Six years later, she’s competing in the Olympics.
Standing 5’9” and a junior at Flint Northwestern High School in Flint, Mich., Shields says she’s ready to make an impact like the “female Ali.”