With the last day about to begin its easy to say this World Championships has been a wild ride. Probably the most surprising story of these World Championships has been the success of non-black athletes in the speed power events. Or should it be? Far too long people have believed that color should be a limiting factor in sport. If this most recent World Championships has taught us anything, is the color of one’s skin no longer should be considered a limitation in elite sport performance. Don’t believe me that people still judge an athlete based on their color ask Mr. Vick of the Eagles. People have made a number of assumptions about his color and sports performance. For a long time people believed that quarterbacks could only be white. Now after much publicized trouble Vick is one of the best players in the league at his position and maybe the most versatile in NFL history. Peyton Hillis was told since college he couldn’t be a feature tailback because no white running back has rushed for over 1000 yards in the NFL since Craig James did it for the Patriots in the 1980s. We have numerous examples of color barrier breakers like the Williams sisters (Tennis), Tiger Woods (Golf), Cullen Jones (Swimming), Jeremy Wariner (Sprinting), and Klitschko brothers (Heavy Weight Boxing).
In this World Championship we have new athletes who are breaking down this archaic belief systems like Christophe Lemaitre 3rd in the 200 (National Record), Sally Pearson 1st 100HH (National and Championship Record), Jenny Simpson 1st in the 1500 (An American has not won a WC since 83),Liu Xiang in 110H (Former World Record Holder) and David Greene 1st in the 400H just to name a few. Each of the athletes mentioned above prove the color of a person’s skin is not all that important in sports performance.
What is important for success in sports is making good diet choices, training hard, and good coaching.
If you are a coach, athlete, or parent let the recent World Championships be a lesson to not judge a book or athlete by its cover. Let the athlete or your own talent point the direction for what position/event should be focused upon. If we limit our bias I believe we will see there are a great number of athletes like Vick, Lemaitre, Hillis, and Pearson just waiting for a chance to prove their color is not a limiting factor.