Barcelona Gold: African-American Athletes Win Medals and Acclaim during the XXV Olympiad

Article excerpt

THE new Olympic battle cry may be "On to Atlanta," but if anyone needs a reason to remember Barcelona, Spain, they need look no farther than the African-American athletes who participated in the 1992 Summer Games.

Whether it was the overwhelming talent of basketball's "Dream Team," the track and field majesty of Carl Lewis, the gritty determination of the Oden sisters--Kim and Elaina--at the volleyball net, or the grace of tiny gymnasts Dominique Dawes and Elizabeth (Betty) Okino, Black Olympic athletes brought excitement to the world stage.

They also won 76 individual medals; about half of them were Olympic gold.

The Games' golden moments included the hardwood devastation by the best in basketball, "Thne Dream Team." Composed primarily of the NBA's best players, this team of basketball superstars heat all comers by an average of 40-plus points, and still managed to win the worlds affections through the grace of Earvin (Magic) Johnson, the skills of Michael Jordan and the powerful presence and wit of Charles Barldey.

Carl Lewis and Jackie Joyner-Kersee capped another golden moment in their

respective sports, despite the threat of age and injury. …