This summer is all about the power of black women. Each and every day, black excellence shines through more and more. From Michelle Obama’s insanely impressive speech at the Democratic National Convention, to the gorgeous and powerful athletes on the United States Olympics team, 2016 is proving to be a year where black women show the world their worth.
Two of the most impressive African American athletes at this summer’s games are two young women who are proving to the world that they can absolutely dominate.
The world fell in love with Gabby Douglas four years ago at the London Olympics when the then 16-year-old gymnast blew the competition out of the water in both the team final and the all-around competition. Gabby and her team mates, known collectively as the Fierce Five, won gold over the Russian and Romanian teams that year, the first American team to do so since the Magnificent Seven of 1996.
Gabby then went on to make history herself and became the first African American woman, as well as the first woman of color from any country, to win gold in the All-Around competition. Scoring only three-tenths of a point ahead of Viktoria Komova of Russia, Gabby cemented herself in gymnastics history.
Little did she know that was only the beginning for African American women in the sport of gymnastics. Only a year later, a young girl named Simone Biles made a name for herself at the World Gymnastics Championships. Simone won the all-around competition at the World Championships for the next three years and it was a no brainer that she would eventually make the Olympic team.
Now in Rio, Simone is proving her worth by crushing the rest of her competition. On the day of qualifications, Simone scored nearly two full points higher than the second place finisher, who was her own teammate. That means that Simone would’ve had to fall off of an apparatus TWICE for her teammate Aly Raisman to even stand a chance of coming in first.
That amazing skill followed the American girls into the team finals where Simone’s excellence really inspired all of them to pull out all the stops. The United States finished with 8 full points over Russia. By the time Simone took to the floor for the team’s final routine, she only needed to score a 7 to secure the gold. In today’s world of gymnastics scoring, she could’ve only done half of her routine and accomplished that.
Of course, Simone’s crowning moment came during the all-around competition where she finished again two points ahead of her teammate Aly Raisman who took home the silver. Such a stunning display could make people want to compare her to other legends, but as she quipped as reported on CNN “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps, I’m the first Simone Biles.”
Simone’s dominance this summer really illustrates the fact that black women are powerful, talented, beautiful, and strong. Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas will forever be role models to all young black women who want to achieve their dreams. They can now see that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. Here’s hoping another talented woman of color takes home the gold in 2020.