The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by remembering one of the premier Tigerbelles in Tennessee State history.
Edith McGuire became the top sprinter of the 1960s, winning six Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) championships and an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, Japan, in 1964. McGuire was also the only American woman ever to hold three AAU titles at different times, in the 100 and 200-meter dashes and the long jump.
McGuire, an Atlanta native, attended legendary TSU track Coach Ed Temple's camp the summer before her senior year of high school, which helped her earn a scholarship to TSU for the fall of 1961.
Before running in the 1964 Olympics, McGuire competed in the 1963 Pan-American Games in São Paulo, Brazil. McGuire took first place in the 100-meter dash and 400-meter relay, proving she belonged on the international stage.
McGuire's career highlight came during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. McGuire was forced to compete against fellow Tigerbelle and Georgian Wyomia Tyus, who was considered one of the fastest sprinters in the world. In the 100-meter dash, McGuire finished second and Tyus took the gold medal. However, McGuire bounced back by placing first in the 200-meter dash and set a new world record of twenty-three seconds. McGuire also won a silver medal as part of the 400-meter relay team the consisted of with Tyus, TSU's Willye White, and UCLA's Marilyn White . With her wins in Tokyo, McGuire became the second African American woman (Behind teammate Wilma Rudolph) to win three medals in the same Olympic Games.
McGuire graduated from TSU in 1966 with a degree in elementary education. She taught for nine years before she settled in Detroit, Mich. McGuire is currently involved in helping underprivileged children in Oakland as well as in Detroit.
She retired from track in 1966 and was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1975, the Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1979, and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.
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.