Who Was the First Black Woman to Win an Olympic Gold Medal?

Elmira | 12 - 07 - 2021
Alice Coachman Davis

Alice Coachman Davis made history as the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal. She won the high jump competition at the 1948 Olympics.

How Many Medals Did Alice Coachman Win?

She won the AAU outdoor high jump championship between 1939 t0 1948, holding the record of winning ten national championships in a row.

In Which Year Did the First Black Woman Win an Olympic Gold Medal?
  • A. 1950
  • B. 1948
  • C. 1940
  • D. 1960

In the era of widespread oppression toward African-Americans and women in games, Alice Coachman prepared using makeshift equipment and practiced without wearing shoes that helped her achieve the first African American female Olympic gold medalist. If you are curious to learn more about Alice Coachman, take our fun quiz on “first black Olympic gold medallist” to expand your knowledge.

Interesting Alice Coachman Facts That You May Not Know

 Scroll down to learn fascinating facts about Alice Coachman.

Alice Coachman was born on November 9, 1923. She was an American athlete who excelled in the high jump.

She surpassed the Amateur Athletic Union(AAU) high school and college women’s high jump records while barefoot in 1939 caught people’s attention.

She also earned the AAU outdoor high-jump championship for nine years. She also holds the record of winning three indoor high-jump championships.

She was also good at sprints and basketball and competed at Tuskegee Institute (1940–46).

Coachman won national track and field championships in 50 and 100-meter dashes, the running high jump, and the 4 × 100-meter relays. She served as a guard and managed the Tuskegee basketball team to three consecutive conference championships.

During the 1948 Olympics, she won by rising an unprecedented 5 feet, 6 ⅛ inches in the high jump. Soon afterward, she met former President Harry Truman and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and a parade was thrown to honor her nationwide. 

According to BBC news, her name was enlisted in two halls of fame including the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1975 and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004.

Due to World War II, Olympic Games were canceled in 1940 and 1944. She was unable to take part in the Olympics.

She was honored with Alice Coachman Day by President Truman and her city of Albany.

After four years, she became the first black woman athlete to endorse an international consumer product Coca-Cola. Coachman also appeared on billboards for Coca-Cola along with Jesse Owens in 1952.

Later, she founded the Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation so that she could support young athletes and provide guidance to retired Olympic athletes.

It’s been many decades, but Coachman’s achievement is still not overlooked. During the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, she was recognized as one of the 100 greatest Olympians in history.

On July 14, 2014, she died at the age of 90 in Georgia.

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