The 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games are right around the corner and we are getting ready to cheer on Team USA as they enter the games, all with hopes of bringing home the gold.

There is without a doubt a huge list of great Black athletes across the rosters; some are making their Olympic debut and others are returning Olympians. Here is a look at some of Team USA’s Black Olympians and Paralympians seeking gold. 

Soccer

Crystal Dunn
Photo: Harrison Hill, USA TODAY

Dunn plays for the Portland Thorns, but was previously part of the North Carolina Courage. She helped Team USA win the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. She’s a force to be reckoned with proving her talents in different on-the-field positions. 

Adrianna Franch 
Photo: Julio Cortez | AP Photo

A fellow teammate of Dunn both on Team USA and the Portland Thorns Club, Franch is making her Olympic debut in Tokyo as one of the two goalkeepers on the team. While playing for Oklahoma State, she set record for 36 shut-outs, the sixth most in NCAA history. She’s also the first OSU player to make the U.S Women’s National Team.

Basketball 

Ariel Atkins 
Photo: Washington Mystics

A Texas native, Atkins first played for USA Basketball in 2014 at the FIBA Americas U18 Championships where she won a gold medal. In 2020, she joined the USA National Team for the 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament where she averaged 6.3 points per game. In 2018, she was drafted to the Washington Mystics where she still plays. 

A’ja Wilson
Photo: Harry How | Getty Images

Wilson was drafted by the Las Vegas Aces with the No. 1 overall pick in the first round of the 2018 WNBA Draft. In 2020, she was awarded WNBA Most Valuable player and she will be making her olympic debut in Tokyo.

Devin Booker 
Photo: Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

A 2020 NBA All-Star and 2018 Three-Point Contest champion, Booker is making his Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo games. At the age of 20, Booker became the youngest player to score 60+ points in an NBA game against the Boston Celtics. He currently plays for the Phoenix Suns and is battling the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2021 NBA Championship Title. 

Keldon Johnson 
Photo: Scott Wachter | USA TODAY Sports

Johnson is the sixth player 21 years old or younger to be on a U.S. Olympic roster — talk about talent! He just finished his first full NBA season with the San Antonio Spurs.

Gymnastics 

Simone Biles
Photo: Jamie Squire | Getty Images

Biles is the face of Team USA’s women Olympic team, and how could she not be? She is the most decorated U.S. woman gymnast ever and is the first woman to:

  • Win four gold medals at a single World Championships (2014) since the Soviet Union’s Ludmilla Tourischeva in 1974.
  • Win five World all-around titles (2013-15, 18-19)
  • Win three World balance beam titles (2014-15, 19)
  • Win five World floor exercise titles (2013-15, 2018-19)

Biles truly is the GOAT. 

Jordan Chiles 
Photo: AJ Mast | AP

Chiles is a first time Olympian with recent career highlights such as a 2021 U.S. vault bronze medalist and 2021 Winter Cup gold all-around, vault, and floor exercise medalist and silver medalist in the balance beam. 

Swimming

Simone Manuel 
Photo: NBC Olympics/USOPC

Manuel became the first Black woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal in the 100 meter freestyle at the 2016 Games. She will have six chances to win gold for short sprints at this year’s Olympics. 

Sitting Volleyball 

Nicky Nieves 

Nieves won gold medal at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. She was also a gold medalist in the 2019 World ParaVolley World Super 6 and the 2019 Parapan American Games. 

Track & Field 

Vashti Cunningham
Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

In the 2016 Rio Olympics, Cunningham became the youngest U.S. track and field athlete to qualify for the Games since 1980. She is coming back for her second Olympics with her recent medal being a bronze for high jump in 2019.

Deja Young 
Photo:S Bardens / British Athletics | Getty

Young is a two-time gold medalist in the 100m and 200m events. She received a track scholarship to Wichita State University where she was All-Conference. 

Rugby

Naya Tapper
Photo: Team USA | Getty Images

Before beginning her rugby career in 2012, she was an All-American athlete track and field athlete. She earned her first international cap with the Women’s National Rugby Team at the Women’s Sevens tournament. 

Cheta Emba 
Photo: Sean M. Haffey | Getty Images

Another multi-sport star, Emba was an All-American and All-Conference honor athlete while playing Division I soccer at Harvard. Before then, she played soccer and basketball throughout high school. She picked up rugby in college and made her debut with the Women’s Eagles Sevens at the Dubai Sevens tournament winning against Russia.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: