The 2012 Summer Olympics is poised to be a huge ratings grabber for NBC, but it also spotlights a bevy of Black athletes who have broken barriers in their sports. Olympic swimmer Lia Neal of Brooklyn is only 17, but she's become the second Black woman in her field to make it to the games. Also 17 is Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, who has become the youngest female boxer to compete at the Olympics.
Long before Neal, Shields, and all of the other Olympians vying to take home medals, there were other Black athletes who made feats on the world's biggest sporting stage. So, just to give them a little extra confidence as they prepare to participate in the international event, we've compiled a list of other Black athletes who laid the groundwork for today's swimmers, runners, long jumpers, and more.
Check out 11 notable Black Olympians below.
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