29 Badass Black women set to dominate the Tokyo Olympics

When it comes to the 2020 Summer Olympics, we’re rooting for everybody Black

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The Summer Olympic Games are finally kicking off in Tokyo after being postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. While everyone is excited, we’re extra pumped since Black athletes are taking center stage at the games.

In the words of the iconic Issa Rae, we’re rooting for everybody Black, but there’s no question that Black female athletes are the ones dominating this year. There will be so much Black girl power in Tokyo we had to make a list to keep up.   

Below find 31 badass Black women dominating in their sport as women continue to own their power across the globe.

Simone Biles, Gymnastics

Simone Biles of The United States poses for photos with her multiple gold medals during day 10 of the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle on October 13, 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Standing at just 4′ 8″, Biles is often referred to as the greatest athlete of all time. With 30 world championship and Olympic medals, the 24-year-old certainly lives up to her “GOAT” title.

Naomi Osaka, Tennis

Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts against Angelique Kerber of Germany during their first round Women’s Singles match on Day Two of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Osaka has been ranked No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association, is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles, is a four-time Grand Slam singles champion, and is the reigning champion at the US Open and the Australian Open.

The 23-year-old has had another big honor recently — her very own Barbie doll created in her likeness!

A’ja Wilson, Basketball

A’ja Wilson #9 of the United States passes against Nigeria during an exhibition game at Michelob ULTRA Arena ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 18, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Wilson is a professional basketball player for the Las Vegas Aces of the Women’s National Basketball Association. You can spot the 24-year-old on the court in Vegas wearing the number 22.

Simone Manuel, Swimming

Simone Manuel of the United States celebrates winning the gold medal in the Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay Final with the new World Record of 3:50.40 on day eight of the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships at Nambu International Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

In 2016, Manuel made history by becoming the first Black woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal—a feat that smacks stereotypes around Black women and swimming in the face.

Just before the Tokyo Games, a ban on swim caps designed for swimmers with thick, curly, and voluminous hair — a category Manuel falls into — was placed. After backlash, the new policy is under review putting Manuel and the Crown Act back into the spotlight.

Chiaka Ogbogu, Volleyball

The 6-foot, 2-inch middle blocker is known best for her 10-foot, 5-inch spike touch. She participated in the 2018 Pan American Cup and the 2018 and 2019 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Nations League.

Allyson Felix, Track and Field

Allyson Felix thegrio.com
Allyson Felix of the United States reacts after setting a new world record in the 4×400 Metres Mixed Relay during day three of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on September 29, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

At 35 years old, Felix is the most decorated Olympian in track and field history—and she’s a mom. She specialized in the 200-meter sprint and gradually shifted to the 400-meter sprint later in her career.

Her racing repertoire also spans the 100 meters, 4×100 meter relay, and 4×400 meter relay. 

Jordan Chiles, Gymnastics

Jordan Chiles thegrio.com
Jordan Chiles poses after competing on the bars during the 2021 GK U.S. Classic gymnastics competition at the Indiana Convention Center on May 22, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Chiles is often compared to gymnast greats Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles. She’s been gaining attention ever since she won the all-around at February’s Winter Cup and came in second overall at the GK US Classic behind Biles.

The 20-year-old also claimed the national all-around bronze medal just before heading to Tokyo. 

Sydney McLaughlin, Track and Field

Sydney McLaughlin passes the baton to a teammate during the 1600 meter relay on the second day of the 61st Mt. SAC Relays at Murdock Stadium at El Camino College on April 20, 2019 in Torrance, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

McLaughlin, who hails from New Jersey, is the current world record holder in the women’s 400 meters hurdles with a time of 51.90 seconds, set on June 27, 2021, at the United States Olympic Trials. She competed for the University of Kentucky before turning pro. 

Gabby Thomas, Track and Field

Gabby Thomas reacts after competing in the first round of the Women’s 200 Meter Dash on day seven of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 24, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The former Harvard student-athlete made history by becoming the second-fastest woman ever in the women’s 200 meters. The elite sprinter joins a host of other Black female track and field stars to watch at this year’s games.

Deja Young, Track and Field

Deja Young of the United States poses after taking second in the Women’s 200 Meter Dash T45/47 Ambulatory final during the 2021 U.S. Paralympic Trials at Breck High School on June 18, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The 25-year-old American Paralympic athlete was born with brachial plexus that caused nerve damage and limited mobility to her right shoulder but has excelled with her unique running form. She participates in the T46 sprinting events.

Rashida Ellis, Boxing

Rashida Ellis fights Ame Moore during the 2020 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team Trials at Golden Nugget Lake Charles Hotel & Casino on December 15, 2019 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The lightweight fighter hails from Lynn, Massachusetts. She won a medal at the 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.

Vashti Cunningham, Track and Field

Vashti Cunningham celebrates winning the Women’s High Jump Final on day three of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 20, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Cunningham specializes in the high jump. She is coached by her father, former NFL superstar quarterback Randall Cunningham, so greatness is in her genes!

Christina Clemons, Track and Field

Christina Clemons clears a hurdle in the opening round of the 100-meter hurdles during the 2019 USATF Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium on July 25, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Clemons’ time of 7.73 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles is tied for the 5th fastest time in history and .05 seconds off the world record.

The 31-year-old has been officially dubbed “Cool Ranch Clemons” for setting the record wearing a pair of Cool Ranch earrings, which snagged her an endorsement with Doritos before the games even begin.

Kendra Harrison, Track and Field

Harrison set the world record in the women’s 100 meters hurdles with a time of 12.20 seconds on July 22, 2016, at the London Müller Anniversary Games. Here’s a fun fact: she grew up in a large family with ten other children.

Naomi Graham, Boxing

Graham is an Army boxer and will be competing in the middleweight class. Her hometown is Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Nicky Nieves, Sitting Volleyball

Sitting volleyball player Nicky Nieves poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympics shoot on November 20, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

This middle blocker grabbed the gold at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro for sitting volleyball.

Ashleigh Johnson, Water Polo

Water polo player Ashleigh Johnson poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympic shoot on November 23, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Johnson is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and she became the first African-American woman ever to make the U.S. Olympic Women’s Water Polo team in 2016. The team went on to win the gold!

Crystal Dunn, Soccer

Soccer player Crystal Dunn poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympics shoot on November 21, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Dunn is an American soccer player for the Portland Thorns FC of the National Women’s Soccer League, the highest division of women’s professional soccer in the United States, and the United States women’s national soccer team.

Dalilah Muhammad, Track and Feild

Track & field athlete Dalilah Muhammad poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympics shoot on November 19, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The 31-year-old specializes in the 400 meters hurdles. She won the gold medal at the 2019 World Championships.

Naya Tapper, Rugby

Naya Tapper of the USA runs the ball during the pool match between England and USA in the 2017 HSBC Sydney Sevens at Allianz Stadium on February 3, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McC/Getty Images)

Tapper played for her alma mater at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, before playing for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

Gwendolyn Berry, Track and Field

Gwendolyn Berry is shown after she finishes third in the Women’s Hammer Throw final on Day Nine of the recent 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Berry specializes in hammer throw. Her mark of 77.78 m on June 8, 2018, ranks her #6 on the all-time list, plus she holds the world record in the weight throw with a mark of 25.60 m set in March 2017. The 32-year-old is also a passionate activist for the rights and equality of the Black community.

Tamyra Mensa-Stock, Wrestling

Wrestler Tamyra Mensa-Stock poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympics shoot on November 21, 2019 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The 28-year-old competes in the women’s freestyle category and is a current world champion in the women’s 68kg category. Previously, she was honored as the 2019 United World Wrestling Women’s Wrestler of the Year.

Jacarra Winchester, Wrestling

The 28-year-old freestyle wrestler is already a world champion. She hails from Oakland, California, says she’s been a fighter since childhood after being a target of bullying because of a lisp.

Foluke Atinuke Gunderson, Volleyball

Gunderson is already a decorated bronze medalist. At the 2016 Olympic Games, she started all eight matches, registering 104 points for fifth overall and third in blocking with 0.56 blocks per set.

Javanne Oliver, Track and Field

The pro sprinter finished second in the 60 meters at the 2017 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships for the University of Kentucky.

Teahna Daniels, Track and Field

Teahna Daniels of the United States competes in the Women’s 100m heats during day two of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old American sprinter placed seventh in the women’s 100 meters at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.

Wadeline Jonathas, Track and Field

Jonathas competed in the women’s 400 meters event at the 2019 World Athletics Championships, finishing in 4th place, in 49.60 seconds. The 23-year-old is originally from Haiti.

Quanera Hayes, Track and Field

Quanera Hayes of the United States competes in the Women’s 400 metres semi finals during day four of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 7, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

This 29-year-old sprinter specializes in the 400 meters distance. She won the bronze medal at the 2016 World Indoor Championships and is the 2020 US Olympic Trials champion in the women’s 400 m.

Chiney Ogwumike, Basketball

The baller is an accomplished gold medalist for her participation on the USA Women’s Basketball Team, plus she is the first Black woman to host a national radio show for ESPN, also being the first WNBA player to do so.

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