In 2012 many athletes in the diaspora set world records, broke others and left millions in the diaspora beaming with pride. We have narrowed our list to the top three athletes who sent ripples of excitement through the diaspora and inspired with their more than out standing performances.
Serena, Serena, Serenea, where do we start. Williams won her first Singles gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London and captured her second gold in Doubles. Prior to the Olympics she won at Wimbledon and post-Olympics she won at the U.S. Open. Williams defeated Maria Sharapova for the WTA Tour Title in late October and was named the WTA Player of the Year a month later making this year one of her best tennis seasons in her career.
Douglas made history at the Olympics when she became the first African-American All-Around Olympic Gold Medalist, and the first female to win both all-around and team gold medals at the same Olympics. However, the budding gymnast almost never made it to the global sports festival that made her a household name and it was this triumph over family and financial hardships that made her story more compelling in a sport where black faces are quite rare to spot.
The 26-year-old Jamaican had set himself an immodest goal heading into his second Summer Games: to become a legend. And by winning the same three events he had taken in Beijing back in 2008—sprinting’s triple crown—he certainly made his case. There’s only ever been one other track and field athlete to win three events at consecutive Olympics: Ray Ewry of the U.S., who took back-to-back golds in the standing high jump, standing long jump, and standing triple jump in 1900 and 1904. (He won two more of those three events in 1908.) “I’m the greatest,” Bolt repeatedly told reporters, never failing to follow it up with his infectious grin. And really, who’s arguing?