Vonetta Flowers

On February 19, 2002 Vonetta Flowers became the first African American women to win a Gold Medal in any Winter Olympic sport. She was also the first American woman to win a gold medal in bobsleigh. Vonetta, the brakeperson and her partner, Jill Bakken, won the gold medal in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Park City, Utah. She lives in Helena, Alabama with her husband, Johnny Flowers. She was all American track and field athlete seven times. She coaches track and field athletes at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Vonetta was born on October 29, 1973 in Birmingham, Alabama. Her parents are Jimmy and Barbara Jeffery. She started running track when she was ten years old and she was really good at it. She was an All State basketball player at Jackson-Olin High School in Birmingham. She won a track scholarship to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She competed in the Olympic trial for the summer games in 1996 and 2000, but she didn't make the US track team. She decided that she would give bobsleigh a try. It only took two weeks learning to push before she broke the world start record at Park City. Vonetta is going to break for a while. She and Johnny hope to start a family. Vonetta is really cool!

Picture Courtesy U.S. Olympic Committee

By Frankie, VonEric, Jose, fourth grade, 2002

 

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