Wyomia Tyus and the Tennessee State Tigerbelles: Hidden Figures of Resistance

Wyomia Tyus is a founding member of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the first person ever to win 100-meter sprinting gold in two consecutive Olympics–first in 1964 in Tokyo and then in 1968 in Mexico City, where she dedicated another gold—in the 4×100 relay—to medal-stand protesters Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Tyus’s memoir, Tigerbelle, chronicles her struggles and triumphs and establishes her as an icon in the world of sports and politics.

Wyomia Tyus was born and raised in Griffin, Georgia. She attended Tennessee State University in Nashville and ran under the tutelage of legendary coach Ed Temple until she graduated in 1968. A four-time Olympic medalist and winner of multiple Amateur Athletic Union championships, Tyus supported the Olympic Project for Human Rights in 1968, became a founding member of the Women’s Sports Foundation, and continues to advocate for women’s equality in sports to this day.

Dave Zirin is the author of eight books on the politics of sports. Named one of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,” Zirin is sports editor for The Nation magazine and a frequent guest on ESPN, MSNBC, and Democracy Now! He also hosts The Nation’s Edge of Sports podcast. You can find all his work or contact him through his website EdgeofSports.com. Follow him on twitter @EdgeofSports.