By Miracle Chavis
Demonstrating a spread in diversity, African American athletes have won spots on the U.S. Olympic team in sports that have not been traditionally considered those in which Black people excel.
Sixteen-year-old gymnast Gabby Douglas won the Olympic trials July 1, earning a guaranteed spot in the London Olympics. With a spectacular bar routine and a personality to match, she was the only gymnast who was an automatic out of five girls who made the team.
Elizabeth Price, 16, also competed in the July 1 gymnastics trial, coming in fourth place. She will not be competing in London but will be there as an alternate. She had a great score in the vault that could not be ignored.
John Orozco is a 19-year-old gymnast whose overall score was a 367.400, making him an Olympian. He is one of two men who will anchor the U.S. team.
Orozco clinched the Olympic berth because he had one of the top combined all-around score from the nationals and trials and also finished in the top three of at least three events.
Cullen Jones, 28, is an Olympian swimmer who qualified for the 100-meter freestyle. He came in second for the Olympic Games in London and is runner-up in the 100 meter freestyle. He will represent the U.S. in the 100-meter freestyle and the 50-meter freestyle, which he won.
Lia Neal, a 17 year old swimmer, is the second African American woman in history to become a part of the US Olympic swim team. She came in fourth place in the Olympic trials. Her victory is a step toward diversifying the team of American swimmers headed to London later this month.