Celebrating a breakthrough in bobsled

Dan Chung/Reuters

Prior to the historic win by Vonetta Flowers and Jill Bakken, the U.S. had not won an Olympic bobsled medal since 1956.

On this date in 2002, the inaugural women’s bobsled Olympic title was decided over two runs in Salt Lake City. Vonetta Flowers, who took gold with partner Jill Bakken, became the first black champion in the 78-year history of the Winter Games. Ironically, Flowers only started bobsledding after failing to make the U.S. track and field team for the Summer Olympics in 1996 and 2000. Today, the women’s U.S. bobsled team has seven black athletes.

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