Alice Marie Coachman winning high jump event, US National Women’s Track and Field meet, 1939

Alice Coachman: Sky isn't the limit!

Alice Coachman

Sky isn't the limit!

As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, it is important to recognize the contributions and achievements of our people in various fields. One such individual who made a significant impact in the world of sports is Alice Coachman.

Born in Albany, Georgia in 1923, Coachman was a talented track and field athlete who made history as the first African American woman to win a gold medal in the Olympic Games. She achieved this feat in 1948 at the Summer Olympics in London, where she won the high jump competition with a jump of 1.68 meters.


Credit...Associated Press)

Coachman's journey to the Olympics was not an easy one. Despite her talent and hard work, she faced numerous challenges and obstacles as a result of the color of her skin like being denied access to regular training facilities. She trained by running on dirt roads and creating her own hurdles to practice jumping & despite these challenges, she remained determined to succeed and made the most of every opportunity she was given.

(Alice Coachman sitting)

Throughout her career, Coachman set several national records and won numerous titles, including 10 national championships in the high jump and 10 national championships in the 50-yard dash. In addition to her success in track and field, Coachman was also a pioneering figure in the world of sports sponsorship, becoming one of the first African American athletes to endorse a product when she signed a contract with Coca-Cola in 1952.

(Alice Coachman on Coca-Cola billboard with Jesse Owens)

Despite her many achievements, Coachman's contributions to sports and to African American history have not always been widely recognized. However, her legacy continues to inspire generations of athletes and serves as a reminder of the important role that we have played in shaping the world of sports.

To sum it up, Alice Coachman was a great athlete who broke down barriers and paved the way for future generations of African American athletes. As we celebrate Black History Month, let us remember and celebrate her achievements and contributions to sports and to history.



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