Yesterday we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a holiday that commemorates the birth of one of the most influential leaders in the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for what he believed in which was equality, tolerance and non-violence. For this, we want to honor this important date highlighting some of the most influential people of color in the field of sports.
First American woman to win a gold medal and first Black woman to win gold at the Olympics.
An inspiring woman with a fantastic story that undoubtedly breaks barriers. Coachman carried on her shoulders the weight and fortune of being a woman, being a person of color, and having great qualities for athletics. Although at first, she put aside her dreams of becoming an athlete due to her skin color, she reflected and decided to pursue her dreams, and although she was not allowed to go to the athletic training centers (occupied by white athletes) she did not give up and stayed motivated to achieve her dreams.
Years of training on her own, she later entered Tuskegee University (the first higher education institution for people of color) and broke the record for high jump, and later was admitted to the Amateur Athletes Union. With all this potential, undoubtedly, she only needed to be given a chance to shine.
Coachman won the 1939-1948 height championship and later attended the 1948 Olympic games where she achieved victory in her category with a 1.68-meter jump.
One of the best players in the history of the NBA.
Kobe, a man who definitely had a love for basketball running through his veins, son of fellow basketball player Joe Bryant. He had the excellence of entering the NBA straight from high school (skipping college). During his professional career, he played for the Los Angeles Lakers and also won two Olympic gold medals. Bryant is fourth on the all-time scoring list and won 5 NBA championships. Nicked named “Black Mamba” and a legend who will never be forgotten.
Tennis player, first black woman to compete in the US national championship and to win at Wimbledon 1957.
This incredible woman developed a love for sports very early, specifically for golf and tennis, and although at first her talent was. She became stronger than her great and indisputable talents, which is what led her to compete at the beginning at the national level and later internationally, achieving victory.
A heavyweight boxer with an impressive record, he won the world heavyweight championship 3 times and an Olympic medal.
A man who without a doubt literally fought with his fists until he became a legend, at just 14 years old he won the gold gloves in Kentucky, and from then on countless victories, after winning a world title he decides to change his name to Muhammad Ali and change his religion. Muhammad's record as a professional boxer ended with 56 victories, 37 of them by knockout and 19 by decision, with only 5 losses counted. He is definitely a legend not only when it comes to sports but also defending his beliefs.
Considered one of the best tennis players in history.
This amazing woman tennis player has occupied the number 1 position in the tennis ranking, she has won all the most relevant tournaments in her field (US OPEN- ROLAND GARROS- WIMBLEDON- AUSTRALIAN OPEN AND OLYMPICS)
She gets her first Grand Slam title by winning the United States Open, Althea Gibson was the first African American to win a Grand Slam title. In 2003 she was awarded the ESPY Athlete of the Year award. She is undoubtedly an athlete remembered for her forceful and precise strokes with the tennis racket as well as for her charisma.
The third best basketball player in history
This incredible basketball player despite having had a difficult childhood knew how to overcome difficulties and become one of the greatest in history. While in high school he achieved impressive records: 2,657 points 892 rebounds and 523 assists, he has been the winner of the NBA award as the most valuable player in the last games of the playoff series. He signed a lifetime agreement with NIKE which became the most expensive individual contract made by that company. He has been recognized by various news agencies as the best athlete of the decade. Nicknamed "The King" he has won four NBA Championships, four NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, four Finals MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals.
Undoubtedly 6 of the great athletes exemplify determination, hard-work, and going after their dreams.