Moments in TSU History: Big Blue Olympians
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Moments in TSU History: Big Blue Olympians

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. In 2012, Markeith Price became the 34th to participate as TSU Olympian.

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.

Current head coach Chandra Cheeseborough won three medals at the 1984 Olympiad, two gold and one silver. Cheeseborough became the first Olympian, male or female, to win two relay golds in the same year. The feat was matched in 2016.

There are so many amazing stories from Tennessee State Olympic and Para Olympic history.

TSU Olympic Participants

1. Estelle Baskerville (1964, 1968)

2. Helen Blake (Jamaica, 1980)

3. Ralph Boston (1960, 1964, 1968)

4. Vivian Brown (1964)

5. Chandra Cheeseborough ( 1976, 1980, 1984)

6. Shirley Crowder (1960)

7. Isabelle Daniels (1956)

8. Marcella Daniels (Panama, 1964)

9. Iris Davis (1968, 1972)

10. Lorrain Dunn ( Panama, 1960, 1964)

11. Mae Faggs (1952, 1956)

12. Ryan Fann (2004)

13. Martha Hudson (1960)

14. Barbara Jones (1952, 1960)

15. Debbi Jones (Bermuda, 1968, 1976, 1980)

16. Madeline Manning Mims (1968, 1972, 1976, 1980)

17. Margaret Matthews (1956)

18. Edith McGuire (1964)

19. Kathy McMillan (1976, 1980)

20. Eleanor Montgomery (1964, 1968)

21. Brenda Morehead (1976, 1980)

22. Una Morris (Jamaica, 1964)

23. Audrey Patterson (1948)

24. Markeith Price (2012)

25. Mamie Rallins (1968, 1972)

26. Emma Reed (1948)

27. Wilma Rudolph (1956, 1960)

28. Anna Lois Smith (1960)

29. JoAnn Terry (1960, 1964)

30. Cynthia Thompson (Jamaica, 1948, 1952)

31. Wyomia Tyus (1964, 1968)

32. Martha Watson (1972, 1976)

33. Willye B. White (1956)

34. Lucinda Williams (1956, 1960)

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