Alice Coachman

In honor of Black History Month, every school day The Cardinal will feature a prominent and historical Black American, living or dead, who has worked toward change, advancement, and/or world peace. Some of them are heroes, and some are unsung heroes, who deserve recognition, and have made a contribution to society.


Ashley Corrales, Staff Writer

Born on November 19th, 1923, Alice Coachman set the highest record when she cleared a jump of 5 feet and 6 ⅛ inches at the 1948 Summer Olympics. This jump single handedly made her the first African-American woman from any country to win an Olympic gold medal. She gained a lot of recognition and even became the first African-American to be involved in an endorsement deal with Coca Cola. Throughout the years, she was also set up in nine different halls of fame, including the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. During the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Coachman was honored as one of the 100 greatest Olympians

After her athletic years, Alice set up The Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation to support aspiring younger and retired Olympic athletes. Alice grew up experiencing segregation. There was also this stigma that women who played sports, other than tennis and swimming, weren’t “proper”. She was both African-American and a woman, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing what she wanted to be. She beat the stereotypes that people implemented into society and became one of the greatest athletes in history. Although she died on July 14th of 2014, she inspires young African-Americans and women who want to be involved in the athletic world despite the stereotypes.