10 Black Olympians to Look for in SOCHI

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The 10 most talented Olympians to look for this year in Sochi.

Lori “Lolo” Jones an American track and field and bobsled athlete who specializes in the 60 and 100 meter hurdles. She won three NCAA titles and 11 All-American honors while at LSU. She won indoor national titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009 in the 60 m hurdles, with gold medals at the World Indoor Championship in 2008 and 2010. She was favored to win the 100 m hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but tripped on the penultimate hurdle, finishing in seventh place. She went on to win silver at the 2008 World Athletics Final. Lolo is the American record holder in the 60m hurdles she also competes as a brakewoman on the U.S. national bobsled team. She won a gold medal in the mixed team event at the 2013 World Championships. She is representing the U.S. at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Shani Davis Winter Olympics 2006 in Turin, Italy, became the first black athlete to win a gold medal in an individual sport. Winning the speedskating 1000 meter event, He also won a silver medal in the 1500 meter event. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, becoming the first man to successfully defend the 1000 meter gold medal, and repeating as 1500 meter silver medalist. hE won the all-around world championships in both 2005 and 2006, after winning the silver medal in 2004. In 2009 he won the World Sprint Championships in Moscow, the site of his first World Allround Championship victory. He has set a total of eight world records, three of them current through January 2013. He also sits atop the world Adelskalender list (since March 2009), which ranks the all-time fastest speed skaters by personal best times in the four World Allround Championship distances. He is known for his consistency and technical proficiency and is native to Chicago, Illinois, and trains at two U.S. Olympic training facilities, the Pettit National Ice Center in West Allis, Wisconsin, and the Utah Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Marvin Dixon, Jamaican national bobsleigh team represents Jamaica in international bobsledding competitions. The team first gained fame during their debut in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where they were seen as underdogs inasmuch as they represented a tropical nation in a winter sport. The team returned to the Winter Olympics again in 1992, 1994, 1998, and 2002. The team failed to qualify for the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics. Led by driver Winston Watts, Jamaica qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the two-man.

Joel Fearon is part of the four-man team that recorded four top-six finishes during the World Cup campaign and also finished just 0.07 seconds off a podium place at February’s World Championships as they came fifth. Since then he has returned to the track and earlier this month ran a personal best 10.10second in the 100m at a meet in Switzerland, prompting Nwume to insist that the Birchfield Harrier will continue to improve across both disciplines.

Jazmine Fenlator an American bobsledder, she grew up in Wayne, New Jersey and graduated from Wayne Valley High School. She is a majority member of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls in New Jersey. Jazmine Fenlator became involved in the sport of bobsled in September of 2007 and graduated from Rider University with a bachelor’s degree in multimedia communications and advertising. At Rider, she competed on the track and field team specializing in shot put, discus and hammer. Upon graduating from Rider in 2007, Fenlator’s track coach suggested she try a bobsled camp. In 2011, her family nearly lost their home in Hurricane Irene. After spending a few years as a brakeman, she decided to make the switch to the driver’s seat. In only her third season as a pilot, she has already earned two World Cup medals silver in Lake Placid, N.Y., and bronze in Igls, Austria.

Lauryn Williams is a track and field sprint and Bobsled athlete of Trinidadian descent, competing internationally for the United States. She was the gold medalist in the 100 meter dash at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics and won silver medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics, 2007 World Championships and the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships. A World Junior Champion in 2002, she went on to win the 100 m at the 2003 Pan American Games and claimed the NCAA title over the distance for the University of Miami the following year. She has also featured as part of the American 4×100 meter relay team, winning gold medals at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships.

Aja Evans is an American bobsledder who competes as a brakeman. She previously competed in track & field as a college athlete.

Vanessa James is a French pair skater. With partner Morgan Ciprès, she has won four international medals and is a two-time French national champion. They have finished as high as fourth at the European Championships and eighth at the World Championships. With earlier partner Yannick Bonheur, James represented France at the 2010 Winter Olympics, placing 14th. She is also the 2006 British national champion in single skating.

The Jamaican national bobsleigh team represents Jamaica in international bobsledding competitions. The team first gained fame during their debut in the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where they were seen as underdogs inasmuch as they represented a tropical nation in a winter sport. The team returned to the Winter Olympics again in 1992, 1994, 1998, and 2002. The team failed to qualify for the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics. Led by driver Winston Watts, Jamaica qualified for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the two-man.

Elena Myers made history in 2010 as the first female to win an AMA Pro Racing sprint road race. She is also the first woman to win a professional motor sports race of any kind at Daytona International Speedway, on March 17, 2012. Elena might be the youngest female ever to enter the AMA racing circuit. In 2007, at age 13, she was under contract with Kawasaki Team Green three years before she was old enough to obtain a drivers license.