A Conversation with Wyomia Tyus, Olympic Gold Medalist in 1964 and 1968
Georgia Tech’s Sports, Society, and Technology Program in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts invites you to join us for A Conversation with Wyomia Tyus featuring the Olympic track star from Griffin, Georgia.
Former Georgia Tech football player and head football coach Bill Curry will provide introductions.
Ms. Tyus is a four-time Olympic medalist, holder of multiple world records, and a long-time advocate for global human rights and women’s equality in sports. Her new memoir (with Elizabeth Terzakis) is Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story (Akashic Books, 2018).
She will be interviewed by Dr. Damion Thomas, a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture where he helped to establish the Sports: Leveling the Playing Field exhibit.
This is another feature event sponsored by the Sports, Society, and Technology Program (SST). Through “A Conversation with Wyomia Tyus” and similar events, SST seeks to broaden awareness of compelling sports-related experiences and stories, particularly as they relate to social change. In marking the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, media coverage has focused on John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s courageous stance in raising black fists to protest racial injustice on the 200-meter victory stand. This event will highlight Wyomia Tyus’ role in this protest as she dedicated her Olympic medals to Carlos and Smith’s efforts. As a Georgia native who grew up in the Jim Crow South, Ms. Tyus is uniquely positioned to discuss the continuing need for gender and racial justice as well as to reflect upon the importance of sport’s role in helping to promote social change.
Wyomia Tyus was born and raised in Griffin, Georgia. She attended Tennessee State University in Nashville and ran track under the tutelage of legendary coach Ed Temple as a member of the Tigerbelles until she graduated in 1968. The holder of three gold and one silver medal, Tyus was the first person to win the 100-meter dash in back to back Olympic Games (1964 and 1968). She was also a supporter of the Olympic Project for Human Rights during the 1968 Olympics, doing her part to promote justice for oppressed people around the world. A founding member of the Women’s Sports Foundation, she continues to advocate for women’s equality in sports to this day. She has recently written a memoir (with Elizabeth Terzakis), Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story (Akashic Books, 2018).
Dr. Damion Thomas is Curator of Sports at the Smithsonian Institute. He received his PhD in History from the University of California-Los Angeles and is the author of Globetrotting: African American Athletes and Cold War Politics (University of Illinois Press, 2012).
“A Conversation with Wyomia Tyus” is a feature event of The Sports, Society, and Technology (SST) Program, an interdisciplinary unit housed in Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. This SST Program draws upon perspectives from the humanities and social sciences in order to promote the interdisciplinary study of sports. The initiative features a 15-hour undergraduate minor and a research center. SST faculty are also engaged in community outreach and in efforts to gain visibility for important sports stories related to social justice. Located in Atlanta, a major international city — at the nexus of collegiate athletics and professional sports teams, health professions, information technology, and global media outlets — Georgia Tech is the perfect place for this program to flourish. More information about the Sports, Society, and Technology program can be found at https://hsoc.gatech.edu/sports.