Famous Black Athletes

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 1 
Usain Bolt
(Olympic athlete)
Usain Bolt
14
Birthdate: August 21, 1986
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sherwood Content, Jamaica

One of the greatest athletes ever, Usain Bolt is popular by the nickname ‘Lightning Bolt’. He holds the world record for 100 metres, 200 metres and 4 × 100 metres relay and is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100 m and 200 m titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012 and 2016).

 2 
Jesse Owens
(American Track and Field Athlete Who Won Four Gold Medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics)
Jesse Owens
11
Birthdate: September 12, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oakville, Alabama, United States
Died: March 31, 1980

Widely regarded as one of the greatest track and field athletes of all time, Jesse Owens' three world records in less than an hour in 1935 came to be known as the greatest 45 minutes ever in sports. He was credited with destroying Adolf Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy when he won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics.

 3 
Mo Farah
(British Long-Distance Runner and the Most Successful Male Track Distance Runner Ever)
Mo Farah
22
Birthdate: March 23, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Mogadishu, Somalia
Long-distance runner Mo Farah shot to fame with his 10,000-meter and 5,000-meter wins at the 2012 London Olympics. The first athlete to score a quadruple double, Farah has won 10 major international titles. He became the European Athlete of the Year thrice and has also received the CBE.
 4 
Eliud Kipchoge
(Long-distance runner)
Eliud Kipchoge
12
Birthdate: November 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kapsisiywa, Nandi County, Kenya
 5 
Carl Lewis
(American Track-and-Field Athlete Who Won Nine Olympic Gold Medals During the 1980s and 1990s)
Carl Lewis
11
Birthdate: July 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States

A dominant sprinter and long jumper, Carl Lewis has won ten Olympic medals, nine of them gold. From 1981 to 1991, he topped the world rankings in the 100 m, 200 m and long jump events, slowly starting to lose his dominance thereafter, eventually retiring in 1997. Currently a businessperson, he has also appeared in films and television productions.

 6 
Caster Semenya
(South African Middle-Distance Runner and Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist)
Caster Semenya
9
Birthdate: January 7, 1991
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pietersburg, South Africa

Two-time Olympic gold medalist middle-distance runner Caster Semenya in an intersex woman, with high testosterone levels. The two-time Olympic gold medalist was asked to take medication to decrease her testosterone levels, to participate in the 2021 Olympics women’s events, and filed a case in the European Court of Human Rights.

 7 
Wilma Rudolph
(Sprinter and First American Woman to Win Three Gold Medals at the Single Olympics)
Wilma Rudolph
7
Birthdate: June 23, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
Died: November 12, 1994

Sprinter Wilma Rudolph made history by becoming the first American female athlete to win three track and field gold medals in a single Olympic game. As a child, she needed orthopedic shoes to help her walk. The sports icon lost her life to cancer but was immortalized through books and movies.

 8 
Jackie Joyner-Kersee
(One of the Greatest Female Athletes of All-Time)
Jackie Joyner-Kersee
6
Birthdate: March 3, 1962
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: East St. Louis, Illinois, United States

The first to score over 7,000 points in the heptathlon, Jackie Joyner-Kersee is considered by many as one of the greatest female athletes ever. While in school, she excelled in sports such as volleyball, basketball, and track, and also did well in studies. She later won three Olympic golds medals.

 9 
Yohan Blake
(Jamaican Sprinter)
Yohan Blake
9
Birthdate: December 26, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: St. James Parish, Jamaica

Yohan Blake is a Jamaican sprinter who became the youngest 100 meters world champion when he won a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in 2011. He also won gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games as part of the Jamaican relay team. Yohan Blake is the second-fastest man in both 100 meters and 200 meters events.

 10 
Ashton Eaton
(Retired American Decathlete and Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist)
Ashton Eaton
6
Birthdate: January 21, 1988
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States

Two-time Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton began his international career in 2008, winning his first international medal, a silver, at the 2011 World Championships. In the following year, he won two gold medals, one in Heptathlon at the World Indoor Championships and the other in Decathlon in London Olympic Games, defending his Olympic title four years later in Rio de Janeiro.

 11 
Haile Gebrselassie
(Former Ethiopian Long-Distance Track Athlete and Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist)
Haile Gebrselassie
4
Birthdate: April 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Assela, Ethiopia
 12 
Abebe Bikila
(First African to Win Olympic Gold Medal and First Athlete to Win Two Olympic Marathons Back-to-Back)
Abebe Bikila
5
Birthdate: July 7, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Shewa, Ethiopia
Died: October 25, 1973

Ethiopian marathon runner, Abebe Bikil,a became the first black African Olympic gold medalist at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Four years later, he won his second gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. He created world record both the times. A pioneer in long-distance running, he participated in a total of 16 marathons. 

 13 
Bob Beamon
(Best Known for His World Record in the Long Jump at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968)
Bob Beamon
4
Birthdate: August 29, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: South Jamaica, New York, United States

Bob Beamon is a former American track and field athlete who won the gold medal for the long jump at the 1968 Olympics. He created a world record in the process of winning the gold medal; the record was broken by Mike Powell almost 23 years later. Beamon was inducted into United States Olympic Hall of Fame.

 14 
Ben Johnson
(Canadian Sprinter Who was the World's Fastest Man During the 1987-88 Season)
Ben Johnson
4
Birthdate: December 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Falmouth, Jamaica

Ben Johnson is a Canadian retired sprinter who was adjudged the world's fastest man during the 1987–88 season after he broke the 60m and 100m indoor world records. He is best known for his performance in the 1984 Olympic Games, where he won two bronze medals. Ben Johnson also won a gold medal at the 1985 World Indoor Championships.

 15 
Jim Kelly
(Martial Artist and Actor Known for His Action Films ‘Enter the Dragon’ and ‘Black Belt Jones’)
Jim Kelly
4
Birthdate: May 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Paris, Kentucky, United States
Died: June 29, 2013

Athlete and martial artist Jim Kelly won hearts with his Afro hairstyle and his roles in action film such as Enter the Dragon and Black Belt Jones. Apart from films, he also excelled in karate, winning contests such as the International Middle Weight Karate Championship. He has also played professional tennis.

 16 
Dominique Dawes
(American Retired Artistic Gymnast and Olympic Gold Medalist)
Dominique Dawes
5
Birthdate: November 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

Known as Awesome Dawesome, Dominique Dawes is a retired star gymnast from the U.S. who was part of the gold-winning team at the Atlanta Olympics. She also became the first African-American to earn an individual Olympic medal, with her bronze. She is also part of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

 17 
Woody Strode
(One of the First Black American Players in the National Football League in the Postwar Era)
Woody Strode
4
Birthdate: July 25, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: December 31, 1994

One of the first Black football players of the NFL, Woody Strode was also a talented decathlete. He had dabbled in professional wrestling, too, but later gained fame solely for his film roles, such as that of gladiator Draba in Spartacus, for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination.

 18 
Kenenisa Bekele
(Ethiopian Long-Distance Runner and 3-Time Olympic Gold Medalist)
Kenenisa Bekele
4
Birthdate: June 13, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

Ethiopian long-distance runner Kenenisa Bekele is not just a 3-time Olympic gold medalist but has also won the World Championship gold 5 times. He also has 11 World Cross Country Championship gold medals in his kitty. Initially a master of the 5,000m and 10,000m categories, he later focused on marathons.

 19 
Bob Hayes
(Olympic gold medalist sprinter who then became an American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys)
Bob Hayes
5
Birthdate: December 20, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Died: September 18, 2002

Bob Hayes was an American athlete and a football player. An Olympic gold medalist and a Super Bowl ring winner, Hayes was inducted into both Pro Football Hall of Fame as well as the United States Olympic Hall of Fame. He won gold medal in 100m and 4 x 100m relay in 1964 Tokto Oympics  Hayes was once regarded as the world's fastest human.

 20 
David Rudisha
(Middle-distance runner)
David Rudisha
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kilgoris, Narok County, Kenya
 21 
Sifan Hassan
(Ethiopian-Born Dutch Middle-and Long-Distance Runner)
Sifan Hassan
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1993
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Adama, Ethiopia

Sifan Hassan is an Ethiopian-born Dutch athlete who specializes in middle and long-distance running. She is best known for winning two gold medals at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. At the same Olympics, she also won a brone medal. Prior to her success at the 2020 Games, Sifan Hassan also won two gold medals at the 2019 World Championships.

 22 
Ralph Metcalfe
3
Birthdate: May 29, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: October 10, 1978
 23 
Tyler Blackett
(Footballer left-back or centre-back)
Tyler Blackett
4
Birthdate: April 2, 1994
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manchester, England, United Kingdom
 24 
Dina Asher-Smith
0
Birthdate: December 4, 1995
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Orpington ,England
 25 
Louis Smith
(Retired artistic gymnast)
Louis Smith
6
Birthdate: April 22, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England

With his 2008 Beijing Olympic bronze medal, Louis Smith became the second Black male gymnast to have won the medal. A pommel horse expert, he later won three more Olympic medals. He had ADHD as a child and later also won a choral scholarship but chose to focus on gymnastics instead.

 26 
Merlene Ottey
(Jamaican-Slovenian Former Track and Field Sprinter)
Merlene Ottey
3
Birthdate: May 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hanover Parish, Jamaica

Merlene Ottey is a Jamaican-Slovenian retired track and field sprinter. She represented Jamaica in international events for 24 years before representing Slovenia for 10 years. In 1993, she clocked 21.87 seconds to set the world indoor record for 200 metres; she has been holding that record ever since. Merlene Ottey is also known for winning several medals at Olympic Games. 

 27 
Ugo Monye
(Rugby union player)
Ugo Monye
6
Birthdate: April 13, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Islington

Ugo Monye is an English former rugby union player turned sports pundit. He was a star athlete as a youth and played for Hampshire RFC U17s and U20s. He then joined Harlequins and played 241 times for them. He won both the second division and then the Premiership title with Harlequins. He has also played for England. 

 28 
John Carlos
(Sprinter, Athletics competitor, Association football player)
John Carlos
4
Birthdate: June 5, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City

John Carlos is a former football player and track and field athlete. Carlos won a bronze medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics. After his track career, he helped organize the 1984 Summer Olympics as part of his work with the United States Olympic Committee. In 2003, Carlos was made an inductee of the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame.

 29 
Marion Jones
(American Former World Champion Track and Field Athlete and Former Professional Basketball Player)
Marion Jones
4
Birthdate: October 12, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Marion Jones became the first female athlete to win five track and field medals in a single Olympic game. She was, however, stripped of all her Olympic medals after she admitted to using steroids. She also spent 6 months in jail for being involved in a check-fraud case.

 30 
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn
3
Birthdate: August 21, 1996
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: North Charleston, South Carolina, United States
 31 
Rafer Johnson
(Former athlete and actor, who won a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome)
Rafer Johnson
3
Birthdate: August 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hillsboro, Texas, United States
Died: December 2, 2020
 32 
Tirunesh Dibaba
(The Youngest Female World Champion in Long-Distance Track Event)
Tirunesh Dibaba
9
Birthdate: June 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

Ethiopian distance runner Tirunesh Dibaba scripted history by becoming the youngest female World Champion, in 2003, when she was a little over 18 years. She is also the first female to win the Olympic 5,000m/10,000m double. The 5-time World Champion is also a 3-time Olympic gold medalist.

 33 
Ato Boldon
(Athletics competitor)
Ato Boldon
3
Birthdate: December 30, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
 34 
Issa Hayatou
(Athlete, Sports Administrator)
Issa Hayatou
3
Birthdate: August 9, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Garoua, Cameroon
 35 
Jarome Iginla
(Ice Hockey Winger)
Jarome Iginla
7
Birthdate: July 1, 1977
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Edmonton, Canada

Retired Canadian ice-hockey winger Jarome Iginla is a 2-time Olympic gold medalist and a former World Championship. He also won the 2004 World Cup with the Canadian squad. He became the 4th Black player to be part of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He has also represented teams such as the Boston Bruins.

 36 
J. C. Watts
(Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives From Oklahoma’s 4th District (1995 - 2003))
J. C. Watts
3
Birthdate: November 18, 1957
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Eufaula, Oklahoma, United States

J. C. Watts is an American politician, athlete, and clergyman. A multi-talented man, Watts played professional football in the Canadian Football League. From 1995 to 2003, he served as a Republican in the United States House of Representatives, representing Oklahoma's 4th Congressional District. 

 37 
Bernard Lagat
(Athlete)
Bernard Lagat
3
Birthdate: December 12, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kapsabet, Kenya
 38 
Debi Thomas
(Figure skater)
Debi Thomas
4
Birthdate: March 25, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Poughkeepsie

Former figure skater Debi Thomas is also an Olympic bronze medalist. She began skating at 5 and participated in her first figure-skating contest at 9. A Stanford engineer and a qualified orthopedic surgeon, too, Thomas surprisingly ended up being broke and began living in a trailer in the Appalachian mountains.

 39 
Tommie Smith
(American Former Track and Field Athlete and Former Wide Receiver in the American Football League)
Tommie Smith
4
Birthdate: June 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Clarksville, Texas, United States

Winner of the 200-meter sprint finals at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico, Tommie C. Smith finished the race in 19.83 seconds, thus becoming first to break the 20 seconds barrier. Today however he is better remembered for raising a black gloved fist over his head at the victory stand in protest against the injustice meted out to the blacks.

 40 
Fátima Diame
(Athlete)
Fátima Diame
3
Birthdate: September 22, 1996
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Valencia, Spain
 41 
Meb Keflezighi
(Long-distance runner)
Meb Keflezighi
3
Birthdate: May 5, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Asmara, Eritrea
 42 
Mijain Lopez
(Wrestler)
Mijain Lopez
3
Birthdate: August 20, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pinar del Río, Cuba
 43 
Lawrence Okoye
(Track and field athlete and former American football defensive tackle)
Lawrence Okoye
7
Birthdate: October 6, 1991
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Croydon, London, England

British track and field athlete, Lawrence Okoye played rugby for his school before taking up discuss throw. She won gold medal at the 2011 European Athletics U23 Championships and thereafter competed in the 2012 London Olympics in the following year. Later, he concentrated on football, participating in the NLF, before returning to discuss throwing, securing first place at 2021 European Athletics Team Championships.

 44 
Julius Yego
(Athlete)
Julius Yego
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nandi County, Kenya
 45 
Johnny Oduya
(Swedish Former Professional Ice Hockey Player Who Played as a Defenceman )
Johnny Oduya
3
Birthdate: October 1, 1981
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden

Swedish former ice-hockey player was born to a Swedish mother and a Kenyan father, in Stockholm. As part of the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL, he has won two Stanley Cups. He won a World Championship bronze and also played at the Olympics twice, winning a silver for Sweden.

 46 
Sanya Richards-Ross
(Track and field athlete)
Sanya Richards-Ross
1
Birthdate: February 26, 1985
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
 47 
Dwain Chambers
(British Track Sprinter)
Dwain Chambers
5
Birthdate: April 5, 1978
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England

Dwain Chambers is a British track sprinter known to be one of the fastest European sprinters in the history of athletics. He is the European record holder for the 60 meters with 6.42 seconds. He has won gold medals at the world and European levels in different tournaments. He faced a doping ban from 2006 to 2012. 

 48 
Kriss Akabusi
(Former Sprint and Hurdling Track and Field Athlete)
Kriss Akabusi
8
Birthdate: November 28, 1958
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paddington, London, England

Known for his signature laughter, Kriss Akabusi is a former track and field athlete who has three Olympic bronze medals to his credit. He also became a European Champion in 1990, breaking a 22-year British 400m hurdles record. He had previously also been part of the British Army.

 49 
Sébastien Foucan
(Actor who featured in the British 2003 documentary, founder of freerunning and considered an early developer of parkour)
Sébastien Foucan
3
Birthdate: May 27, 1974
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
 50 
Marqise Lee
(American football player)
Marqise Lee
0
Birthdate: November 25, 1991
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States