Black News and News Makers in History: Wyomia Tyus

African American news from Pasadena - Black News and News Makers in History recognizes Wyomia Tyus this week in Black historyWyomia Tyus, a sprinter, first person to win a gold medal in the 100-meter race in consecutive Olympic Games when she won the medal in the 1968 Summer Olympic in Mexico City.

Born August 29, 1945 in Griffin, Georgia, U.S., Tyus held the world record for the 100-metre race (1964–65, 1968–72) and was the first person to win the Olympic gold medal twice in that event.

Tyus attracted national attention as a high-school runner and as an athlete at Tennessee State University (B.A, 1967).

She made her Olympic debut at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, capturing the gold medal in the 100-metre race and a silver with the 4x100-metre relay team.

In the same year, she won numerous national championships including the 100-metre race in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) championship meet. She was also an AAU champion at 100 yards (1965–66) and 220 yards. Indoors she was a three-time winner of the 60-yard dash (1965–67), setting world records in the event in 1965 and 1966. She also won a gold medal in the 200 m at the Pan-American Games.

At the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, she defended her 100-metre title, winning in the world record time of 11.08 seconds to become the first woman to retain the Olympic 100 metre title. She won her third Olympic gold as the anchor of the 4x100-metre relay team, helping the team set a new World Record. She also qualified in the 200 metre race where she placed sixth.

Tyus retired from amateur sports after the 1968 Olympics, but continued her dominance in the 100-metre event until 1972.

The following year, in 1973, Tyus was invited to compete in professional track competitions. She ran in the 60-yard dash in the new Professional International Track Association competitions. Her first year back she won eight of eighteen events, but the following year she won every event she entered, a total of twenty-two races.

During the Richard Dawson era of Family Feud, Tyus appeared with her family. They won the $5,000 prize.

She worked as a television sports commentator, then went on to coach at Beverly Hills High School, Los Angeles Unified School District, and was a founding member of the Women's Sports Foundation.

In 1980, Tyus was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. In 1985, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Excerpts from Wikipedia and http://www.biography.com/articles/Wyomia-Tyus-40298.


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