Black women in sports are set to own the narrative at this year's Tokyo Olympics. Whether they're breaking barriers or erasing cultural stigmas, these fearless women are doing what needs to be done to show the world our Black is beautiful and it has no limits.
The presence of Black women has been felt at the Olympic Games in the past, but in 2021, the overwhelming number of melanin-rich athletes is truly a sight to behold. From record-setting performances to jaw-dropping displays of athletic greatness, these Black women will certainly be the ones to watch at this year's games. If you're not familiar with them all, check out these trailblazing Black women who are set to compete in Tokyo this summer.
The Olympic gold medalist has already managed to shatter glass ceilings as the most most decorated female gymnast in history and possibly the greatest gymnast of our time. This summer, she's headed to Tokyo to secure her next big epic win.
While the tennis champion is currently taking a mental health break to get her head back in the game, she plans to show up at this year's Olympic games to play her heart out in front of her hometown fans.
The LSU track and field sprinter is already in talks of being the next Olympic sensation after her phenomenal performance at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. Now that she's secured her spot on Team USA, she's going for the gold.
Update: Since the posting of this article Sha'Carri Richardson will no longer compete at this year's Olympic games in Tokyo. Please click here to read more.
As a three-time World Champion with nine Olympic medals under her belt, Felix has conquered her sport in a way that's more than impressive for someone of her caliber. Now the track star is headed back for her fifth Olympic games and her first as a new mom.
The Las Vegas Aces WNBA player and South Carolina Gamecocks legend is known for being outspoken on women's issues and equality for women in sports. Now she'll become the second Gamecock to represent the U.S. in women’s basketball for this year's Olympics.
Manuel is an American record holder and reigning Olympic gold medalist for being the first Black woman to win an individual swimming gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Despite being diagnosed with overtraining syndrome just days before she qualified for the Olympics, she fought through the fatigue and punched her ticket to this year's games.
The soccer star excels in all things in her sport and she's looking forward to taking her talents back to Tokyo this year to compete for Team USA. Though her last trip to the Olympics didn't result in a gold medal for her team, she's confident things will be different this year.
The South Carolina native and rugby hopeful is keeping hope alive that she'll achieve her Olympic dream in Tokyo this year. Tapper is one of USA Women's sevens all time scorers and she's determined to bring back Olympic gold.
The Olympic champion is a beast in one of her sports most grueling events, the 400m hurdles, and she's set on making sure Tokyo's 400m hurdles event is unmissable this time around.
Kendra "Keni" Harrison
The former Kentucky star missed the mark in qualifying for the 2016 Olympics, but she's redeemed herself to prove that she has what it takes to represent Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics for the 100-meter hurdles.
As one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Johnson has completely dominated her sport to become a water polo trailblazer in her own right. In 2016, she became the first Black woman to make a U.S. Olympic Women's Water Polo Team and her hope now is to continue breaking barriers for women that look just like her.
The track & field athlete is a Paralympic hopeful that's vying for a gold medal at this year's Tokyo Games. Even though she was born with a brachial plexus injury that caused nerve damage and limited mobility to her right shoulder, her disability hasn't slowed her down at all, if anything it motivates her even more.
Vashti is more than just the daughter of former NFL star quarterback Randall Cunningham, she's one of the best women’s high jumper in the country who just qualified for this year's Olympics.
The former Kentucky track star is also the teammate of Sha’Carri Richardson, and the two Tokyo-bound athletes are both headed off to show the world what Team USA's track team has to offer.
Daniels placed third in the finals of the 100m at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials this past weekend, securing her spot – alongside teammates Richardson and Oliver – to compete in the Olympics.
The 31-year-old Maryland native made the US Olympic Team wearing two mini bags of Doritos as earrings. Not only did her third-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles earn her a spot on Team USA, it also sparked a viral moment for the famous chip brand.
The America sprinter went up against women who attended some of the most prestigious track and field schools in the world. Yet and still, she beat out the competition – including Allyson Felix – to become a US national champion and Olympic qualifier.
The former Doherty track star is another example of Black girl magic that clinched a spot on the U.S. women's track and field team at this year's U.S. Olympic Trials. The 23-year-old placed third in the 400 finals and now her next stop is Tokyo.