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Last Updated: Apr 21st, 2011 - 14:44:53 


Olympic History- Vonetta Flowers Takes Gold in 2002
By Sarah Lane
Jan 19, 2008, 17:27 PST

Vonetta Flowers

Vonetta Flowers

Vonetta Flowers became the first African-American to win a gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics, as part of a two-woman bobsled team.  On February 19th, 2002, Flowers and her partner, Jill Bakken, became the first American women to win a gold medal in the bobsled competition.  This is also the first bobsled medal for any American since 1948.  Bakken and Flowers, driver and brake-woman respectively, had a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 37.76 seconds. 


Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Flowers is 5’6” and weighs 154 lbs.  At the age of 28, her goal was to make the Summer Olympics but she said that God had other plans.  Flowers was a track star from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, but had two knee operations and ankle surgery. 


Never in her wildest dreams did she think that after answering an ad for bobsledding, she would become one of the most highly recognized athletes in the sport.  This was not only a great accomplishment for the United States, but Vonetta Flowers paved the way for other African-American athletes to follow suit.

Source:     SLOC & Galileo

Olympic Worksheets - Flowers

Bobsled Coloring Page

Coloring this bobsled as it races down the track in record-breaking time.

Additional Learning Links



United States Bobsled & Skeleton Federation

From this page you can access all sorts of cool information on the team members and their history.  Click on athletes, then on Bobsled, then on Vonetta Flowers for her biography.

Source:     SLOC

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