Famous Black Athletes

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Athletes

 1 Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt
9
Famous As: Olympic athlete
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

Jesse Owens
10
Famous As: Athlete
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 Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge
8
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: November 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kapsisiywa, Nandi County, Kenya

 4 Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Jackie Joyner-Kersee
4
Famous As: Athlete
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.

 5 Yohan Blake

Yohan Blake
8
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: December 26, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: St. James Parish, Jamaica

 6 Haile Gebrselassie

Haile Gebrselassie
4
Famous As: Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor
Birthdate: April 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Asella

 7 Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson
4
Famous As: Sprinter
Birthdate: December 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Falmouth, Jamaica
You May Like

 8 Tirunesh Dibaba

Tirunesh Dibaba
3
Famous As: long-distance runner, athletics competitor
Birthdate: June 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bekoji, Ethiopia

 9 Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly
4
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Millersburg, 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.

 10 Dominique Dawes

Dominique Dawes
4
Famous As: Gymnast
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.

 11 Phil Davis

Phil Davis
4
Famous As: Mixed Martial Artist
Birthdate: September 25, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States

Mr. Wonderful Phil Davis is a popular American MMA fighter who represents Bellator MMA. He has previously been a four-time NCAA D-I All-American at Penn State and also boasts of a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He had also excelled in tennis and cross-country running in his younger days.

 12 Caster Semenya

Caster Semenya
8
Famous As: Olympic Athlete
Birthdate: January 7, 1991
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Polokwane, Limpopo, South African

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.

 13 Tommie Smith

Tommie Smith
4
Famous As: Football player
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.

 14 Ralph Metcalfe

Ralph Metcalfe
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 29, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: October 10, 1978

 15 David Rudisha

David Rudisha
4
Famous As: Middle-distance runner
Birthdate: December 17, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kilgoris, Narok County, Kenya

 16 John Carlos

John Carlos
4
Famous As: Sprinter, Athletics competitor, Association football player
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.

 17 Merlene Ottey

Merlene Ottey
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 10, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hanover Parish, Jamaica

 18 Marion Jones

Marion Jones
4
Famous As: Athlete
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.

 19 Issa Hayatou

Issa Hayatou
3
Famous As: Athlete, Sports Administrator
Birthdate: August 9, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Garoua, Cameroon

 20 Christian Coleman

Christian Coleman
4
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: March 6, 1996
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Track and field sprinter Christian Coleman has two World Championship golds in his kitty. Born into a sports-oriented family, with his sister being a track and field athlete, he was naturally drawn toward sports. He was banned for missing his drug tests and, as a result, missed the Tokyo Olympics 2021.

 21 Meb Keflezighi

Meb Keflezighi
3
Famous As: Marathon runner, Long-distance runner, Athletics competitor
Birthdate: May 5, 1975
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Asmara

 22 J. C. Watts

J. C. Watts
3
Famous As: Politician
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. 

 23 Woody Strode

Woody Strode
4
Famous As: Athlete
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.

 24 Debi Thomas

Debi Thomas
4
Famous As: Figure skater
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.

 25 Ato Boldon

Ato Boldon
3
Famous As: Athletics competitor
Birthdate: December 30, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

 26 Ugo Monye

Ugo Monye
5
Famous As: Rugby union player
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. 

 27 Almaz Ayana

Almaz Ayana
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: November 21, 1991
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Benishangul-Gumuz, Ethiopia

 28 Dwain Chambers

Dwain Chambers
5
Famous As: Track sprinter
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. 

 29 Margaret Wambui

Margaret Wambui
3
Famous As: Middle-distance runner
Birthdate: September 15, 1995
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nyeri, Kenya

 30 Julius Yego

Julius Yego
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: January 4, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nandi County, Kenya

 31 Ibtihaj Muhammad

Ibtihaj Muhammad
3
Famous As: Fencer
Birthdate: December 4, 1985
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Maplewood, New Jersey, United States

Ibtihaj Muhammad is an American sabre fencer. An important member of the US fencing team, Muhammad is the first Muslim woman to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics for the United States. In 2016, she became the first Muslim American woman to win an Olympic medal while wearing a hijab; she won a bronze medal for her team.

 32 Joe Rokocoko

Joe Rokocoko
3
Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: June 6, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nadi

 33 Fátima Diame

Fátima Diame
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: September 22, 1996
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Valencia, Spain

 34 Evelyn Ashford

Evelyn Ashford
3
Famous As: American olympic athlete
Birthdate: April 15, 1957
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States

 35 Marie-José Pérec

Marie-José Pérec
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 9, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe

 36 Dennis Kipruto Kimetto

Dennis Kipruto Kimetto
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: April 22, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kenya

 37 Kerron Clement

Kerron Clement
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: October 31, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

 38 Alberto Juantorena

Alberto Juantorena
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: December 3, 1950
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

 39 Sifan Hassan

Sifan Hassan
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: January 1, 1993
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Adama, Ethiopia

 40 Bernard Lagat

Bernard Lagat
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: December 12, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kapsabet, Kenya

 41 Daniel Komen

Daniel Komen
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: May 17, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kenya

 42 Paul Chelimo

Paul Chelimo
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: October 27, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Iten, Kenya

 43 Maria Mutola

Maria Mutola
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: October 27, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Maputo, Mozambique

 44 Asbel Kiprop

Asbel Kiprop
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: June 30, 1989
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Uasin Gishu County, Kenya

 45 Lawrence Cherono

Lawrence Cherono
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: August 7, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Eldoret, Kenya

 46 Edward Cheserek

Edward Cheserek
3
Famous As: Long-distance runner
Birthdate: February 2, 1994
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kenya

 47 Kibiwott Kandie

Kibiwott Kandie
3
Famous As: Long-Distance Runner
Birthdate: June 20, 1996
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kenya

 48 Khaddi Sagnia

Khaddi Sagnia
3
Famous As: Athlete
Birthdate: April 20, 1994
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Helsingborg, Sweden

Khaddi Sagnia is a Swedish athlete who specializes in the long jump. She competed in the first Youth Olympic Games where she won a gold medal in the triple jump. She also took part in the 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships where she won a bronze medal in the long jump final.

 49 Philip Boit

Philip Boit
3
Famous As: Cross-Country Skier
Birthdate: December 12, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eldoret, Kenya

 50 Antonio Pettigrew

Antonio Pettigrew
3
Famous As: Sprinter
Birthdate: November 3, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Macon, Georgia, United States
Died: August 10, 2010