Alice Coachman Davis dead: First black woman to win Olympic gold medal dies aged 90
The sportswoman won gold at the 1948 games in London
Alice Coachman Davis, the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, has died, aged 90.
Her death was confirmed by her daughter, Evelyn Jones.
Born in Albany, Georgia, Davis won gold in the high jump during the 1948 games in London, jumping 1.68-metres. She was, in fact, the only US woman to win gold at that specific competition and was celebrated with a 175-mile motorcade in Georgia.
However, black and white audiences were segregated at the official ceremony in her hometown, Albany.
She retired at the age of 25, after her big win. The sportswoman was sure that she would have scooped medals at the 1940 and 1944 Olympics, but these were cancelled due to World War II.
“I know I would have won in 1944, at least,” she said. “I was starting to peak then. It really feels good when Old Glory is raised and the National Anthem is played.”
She also won 25 national athletics championships - including 10 consecutive high jump titles - between 1939 and 1948, according to USA Track and Field.
Davis also played basketball for Tuskegee University, with her team winning three straight conference titles.
During her childhood, she faced obstacles because of her race. Although these could have hindered her sporting career, Davis found a way round them
According to The New Georgia Encyclopedia, she was forbidden from using public sports facilities, so used whatever equipment she could find to practise her jumping.
“My dad did not want me to travel to Tuskegee and then up north to the Nationals,” Davis told the AP. “He felt it was too dangerous. Life was very different for African-Americans at that time. But I came back and showed him my medal and talked about all the things I saw. He and my mom were very proud of me.”
Davis was inducted to the USA Track and Field Hall of fame in 1975 and the US Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall during coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
UK weather: Snow to fall during coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Ellen DeGeneres leads Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany in revealing game of Never Have I Ever
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...
£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader ...