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 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Russian hack of President Obama's emails worse than previously admitted
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Nepal earthquake: US Pastor Tony Miano sparks outcry by suggesting Nepalis should convert and not rebuild their 'pagan shrines'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...