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Winifred W. Thompson

Anita L. DeFrantz is one of the most influential people in sports in the early twenty-first century. She became involved in the Olympic field as a competitor when she won a bronze medal on the U.S. women’s eight-oared shell at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. She was the first woman to represent the United States on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1986 and, in 1997, she became the first woman, as well as the first African American, to be vice president of the IOC. DeFrantz has worked on the Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Atlanta Olympic Games as a member of the United States Olympic Executive Committee.

DeFrantz was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Robert and Anita P. DeFrantz Her father directed the Community Action against Poverty organization her mother taught and eventually became a professor of Education at the University of San Francisco DeFrantz s ...

Article

Kate Tuttle

Kipchogo Keino was the first of Kenya’s world-class distance runners to make his mark on the world sports scene. He won gold and silver medals at both the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games, set long-standing world records in both the 5000- and 3000-meter races, and inspired a generation of Kenyan track and field athletes. Keino, an ethnic Nandi, was born in Kipsamo, Kenya. He was orphaned at the age of two and raised by his grandmother. His first racing success came in 1962, when he set a national record for the mile. In 1964 while working as a physical fitness instructor for a police academy Keino participated in his first Olympic Games where he finished fifth in the 5000 meter race The following year he broke world records in both of his main events the 3000 and 5000 meter races Sports analysts believe Keino s training ...

Article

Patrick Stearns

professional boxer, entrepreneur, boxing promoter. Born in North Carolina, Ray Charles Leonard grew up in Palmer Park, Maryland. At the age of fourteen he started boxing. As an amateur, he won 145 of 150 matches. In 1975 he won a gold medal in the Pan American Games. He would then win a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Canada.

In the midst of labor unrest that year, resulting in strikes in the automotive, newspaper and magazine publishing, and brewing industries, the United States looked to the bicentennial celebrations and American success in the Olympics as much-needed sources of pride. Leonard's outgoing personality and skills made him popular in the media that summer. Leonard turned professional in February 1977. Angelo Dundee, who trained Muhammad Ali, would serve as his trainer. On 11 November 1979, Leonard fought and knocked out Wilfred Benitez ...

Article

Gregory Travis Bond

athlete, classical scholar, singer, postal worker, and teacher, was born in Hannibal, Missouri, to James Poage, a tanner, and Annie Coleman Poage, a domestic worker. Both parents were Missouri-born, and Annie claimed to have “freedom papers,” issued either before the outbreak of the Civil War or before the 13th Amendment in 1865. Poage’s siblings were Lulu Belle Poage and Nellie Poage, the future mother of attorney Howard Jenkins, Jr. The Poages moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 1884, where James was employed as coachman and Anna as cook and domestic servant at the estate of Albert Pettibone, a wealthy lumber mill owner. After the deaths of Lulu Belle in 1887 and James of tuberculosis in 1888 Anna and her two surviving children moved to the Albert Clark Easton and Lucian Frederick Easton estate where Anna was stewardess in charge of domestic ...

Article

Richard Sobel

Olympic high jumper, athletic official, and businessman, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Curtis Thomas, a bus driver for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), and Ida Kate (Shanks) Thomas. With his brother and sister, he grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and attended Rindge Technical High School. There he was a Boy Scout (Eagle Scout), on the newspaper, and captain of the track and tennis teams. Though initially unable to high-jump six feet, after his coach changed his style from the western roll (facing sideways) to the straddle (facing down), Thomas cleared 6 feet 8¼ inches and was named team captain and chosen for the national All-American High School Track Team, an honorary team of the best high school athletes, before graduating in 1958.

In fall 1958 he entered Boston University on an athletic scholarship He was on the dean s list captained ...

Article

T. Natasha Turner

international fencer and philanthropist, was born Peter Jonathan Westbrook in St Louis Missouri the son of Ulysses Westbrook an African American army corporal and Mariko Wada a school custodian Peter s parents met while his father was stationed in Kobe Japan and married despite the objections of his mother s well to do Japanese Catholic family Soon after his birth Westbrook s family relocated to Newark New Jersey where they lived in near poverty in a housing project When he was a toddler Peter s parents separated and he rarely saw his father again His tough surroundings and teasing because of his biracial background often compelled young Peter to get into fights Seeing that her son needed a positive way to channel his aggressive energy and believing that the discipline involved in fencing would be good for him Mariko Westbrook persuaded her 13 year old son to join the ...