The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by recognizing the Olympic and Para Olympic track and field student-athletes who once called Tennessee State home.
From Audrey Patterson, Emma Reed and Cynthia Thompson in 1948 to Ryan Fann in 2004, TSU has produced 33 Olympic and Paralympic athletes. This year, Markeith Price will become the 34th to participate as TSU Olympian. Price will represent the USA in the Paralympic Games in August.
Over the course of the 56 year run, former Tigers won 16 gold medals, eight silver and seven bronze.
Six TSU athletes represented countries other than the U.S. such as Helen Blake (Jamaica) and Debbie Jones (Bermuda). However, 27 former Tigers participated on the side of the Americans.
Some of the most celebrated track and field athletes once took classes and practiced at Tennessee State including Wilma Rudolph, Ralph Boston and Wyomia Tyus.
Rudolph made history in Rome, Italy in 1960 becoming the first woman to win three gold medals in the same Olympics.
Boston also broke through for a gold medal in the long jump in Rome. He also won a silver medal in 1964 and a bronze in 1968.
Tyus became the first person to retain the Olympic Title in 100-meters. She equaled Rudolph's world record in 1964 and then beat fellow TSU-alum Edith McGuire to win gold.
Coach Ed Temple also represented TSU in the Olympics and served as coach for the U.S. women's team for 28 years. He was also the first to repeat as coach, doing so in 1960 and 1964.
There are so many amazing stories from Tennessee State Olympic and Para Olympic history that they could take up much more than 100 moments.
However, over the next few days, we will be highlighting a select few TSU track and field legends.
The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.
Sports Information Assistant Alex Mitchell contributed to this article.
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