African americans and first generation africans have a scarce yet rich history of competing at the winter olympics from figure skater debi thomas to bobsled athlete vonetta flowers the 2018 team usa roster is loaded with exceptional talent in three of the more popular sports bobsled hockey and speedskating. Originally from ghana biney is the first black woman to make the olympic speedskating team and the second ever african born athlete to represent the us in the winter olympics known for explosiveness off the starting line biney dominates the 500 meter races for short track skating. The 1968 olympics human rights salute was a political demonstration conducted by african american athletes tommie smith and john carlos during their medal ceremony on october 16 1968 at the 1968 summer olympics in the olympic stadium in mexico city. In 1988 debi thomas became the first african american athlete to medal at the winter olympics winning a bronze medal in figure skating in 2002 vonetta flowers a member of the bobsled team became the first black athlete to win a gold medal at the winter olympics canadian hockey player jarome iginla would also win a gold medal that year. Black us olympians won in nazi germany only to be overlooked at home the torch jesse owens is still the most famous name from the 1936 olympics in nazi controlled berlin but a new documentary highlights 17 other african american athletes who also made their mark
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