August 29

Wyomia Tyus

August 29, 1945 - Griffin, Atlanta

Wyomia Tyus was born to run. The Griffin native became the first athlete to win gold medals in the 100-yard dash in consecutive Olympics.

As a 15–year–old African–American competing in the state track championships, she caught the eye of coach Ed Temple of the legendary Tennessee State University Tigerbelles women’s track team. Two years later, coach Temple gave her a scholarship. Though Tyus barely qualified for the 1964 Olympic track team, the 19–year–old outran everyone at the Tokyo Games to win gold in the 100–meter dash. She repeated the feat four years later at the Mexico City Olympics.

After her first games in ’64, she returned to Atlanta with her Olympic teammate and fellow Georgian Edith Mcquire — five medals between them. But the Atlanta parade that welcomed them only went through the black sections of town.

Tyus was inducted into both the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and the National Track and field Hall of Fame. One of the most popular runners in history was born in Griffin on August 29, 1945, Today in Georgia History.