Madeline Manning Mims: Olympic Pioneer


Madeline Manning Mims: Olympic Pioneer

Joel Pfahler

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Madeline Manning Mims is a pace setter in more ways than one. Not only is she an Olympic pioneer as the first American woman to win a gold medal in the 800 meter race, she is also an example for distance runners around the world, and specifically for those who are women of color.

In one of the World Track & Field Championships, one of the Nigerian diplomats came up to me to meet me personally and I was introduced to him and he said, ‘I know very well who she is.  She is the woman who has opened the door to the world for women of color to run in distance.’  And I never really thought of it in that way… I never realized that I was doing something that phenomenal.  But then when I looked at the video I realized that I was the only black woman in the whole mix.”

“I didn’t know that I opened the door for women.  But now I look at it and you see all these women of different colors just topping not only the middle distance that I ran but the distance and ultra distances. That was pretty cool that I was able to do that.”

Learn more about Madeline’s story below.

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