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18 Black Athletes Who Absolutely Changed The Olympics Forever

These Black Olympians are trailblazers.

The Winter Olympics are here, and soon we shall be seeing a flurry of athletes from all over the world, medals, breathtaking performances, new records, and personal bests. We shall see athletes of different creed and color mingling and competing in a friendly atmosphere without any reservations and prejudices.

Weronika Kaleta of Team Poland competes during the Women's Cross-Country Sprint Free Qualification on Day 4 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games

I hereby bring you a list of 18 Black athletes of different nationalities who blazed the trail for future generations of Black athletes and made the world recognize the immense talent — bordering on superhuman — that was hidden within them.

This article mostly discusses those Black athletes who achieved something for the first time at the Olympics, some of whom went on to dominate their "fields." 

1. Constantin Henriquez — the very first of them

Constantin Henriquez poses

2. George Poage

Meyer Prinstein, George Poage, Clyde Blair, and William Hunter at the 1904 Olympics

3. John Baxter Taylor Jr.

John Baxter Taylor Jr. poses

4. Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens poses at the 1936 Olympics

5. Audrey Patterson

Holland's Fanny Blankers-Koen sprints away to win gold from Great Britain's Audrey Williamson (723) and USA's Audrey Patterson (707)

6. Alice Coachman

Audrey Patterson, Alice Coachman and another woman sit with the spectators at the 1948 Olympics

7. Don Barksdale

Don Barksdale playing basketball

8. Wilma Glodean Rudolph

Wilma Rudolph poses with her three medals

9. Muhammad Ali

A woman examines the medal that Muhammad Ali is wearing around his neck

10. Abebe Bikila

Abebe Bikila finishes a race

11. Tommie Smith and John Carlos

Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fist in the air while standing on the podium

12. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan smiles during a game

13. Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis celebrates with an American flag

14. Florence Griffith Joyner

Florence Griffith Joyner poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, California

15. Dominique Dawes

Dominique Dawes gets ready for her gymnastics performance

16. Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas poses

17. Shani Davis

Shani Davis at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games

18. Usain Bolt — fastest man alive

Usain Bolt celebrates after his race

Though he retired in 2017, his 9.58 seconds at the 2009 World Championships and 9.63 seconds at the London 2012 Olympics (the Olympics 100-meter record) stand unblemished.

Make sure to head right here for more of BuzzFeed's Black History Month coverage.

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