The first

I don’t usually follow men’s gymnastics but I noticed this story because it claimed that Lous Smith was the first black or mixed race man to win a medal in gymnastics.  I thought I remembered that that was really Jair Lynch who won silver on Parallel Bars in 1996.  

Louis compares winning an Olympic bronze medal to being caught red handed in a murder.  Okay, then.  

I found a page on Jair Lynch and that page said he was the second African American to compete in Olympic gymnastics.   When I first read it, I thought it said Jair was the first and that didn’t seem right so I tried to find who was the first.  This page from USA gymnastics says that it was Charles Lakes who was the first black American competitor in men’s gymnastics.  If it hadn’t been for the boycott of 1980, Ron Galimore would’ve been the first.


The article has been amended.

• This article was amended on Tuesday October 14 2008. Louis Smith was not, in fact, the first black or mixed-race man in history to win an Olympic gymnastics medal. This has been changed.

I had to amend my article too because instead of putting “the first black or mixed race man” in the first paragrap I only had “the first”.

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One Response to “The first”

  1. rickmccharles Says:

    There must have been others. Cubans, for example. Curtis Hibbert from Canada was our first prominent black international athlete. And Olympian.

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