Insight News

Thursday
Nov 27th

Going the distance

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On your mark, get set, go ... and you're off and running! You enjoy the race against the clock as you compete with eager competitors, all wanting to win. But who will win? You hope it's you, as you run with all your might. On your mark, get set, go ... and you're off and running! You enjoy the race against the clock as you compete with eager competitors, all wanting to win. But who will win? You hope it's you, as you run with all your might.

This scenario is often played out with real athletes who sprint 400 meters to get to the finish line, running full speed ahead to ensure that they are not the one left behind. The history, culture, physical and popular appeal of track and field are some of the factors why so many African Americans are attracted to this sport.

We have a long history of going the distance in track and field. Since the 1960s, a host of black American women athletes have starred on the world stage of Olympic competition, including Evelyn Ashford, Valerie Brisco-Hooks, Gail Devers, Florence Griffith Joyner, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Marion Jones, and Wyomia Tyus. Black men have done just as well. This can be illustrated through the brilliance of Bob Beamon, Leroy Burrell, Milt Campbell, Lee Evans, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Edwin Moses, and Mike Powell, just to name a few (US History Encyclopedia).

Since the beginning of the sport, Track and field has been filled with pride and history. And according to USA Track & Field (the national organization governing track & field, running and race walking), nobody is making more history lately than Sanya Richards. The two-time defending U.S. champion, Richards has been the dominant force in the 400 since 2005, when she won her first U.S. title. She has definitely emerged as one who is able to withstand the speed, endurance, and strength to compete in national meets.

So, whether its foot racing, hurdling, jumping, vaulting, or throwing varied weights and objects, African Americans will continue to go the distance in track and field and strive to get a leg up on the competition.

Courtesy of BlackPR.com
 

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