The Other Four African Americans At The Torino Olympics

Updated: November 16, 2007





Well there are 4 other far less Heralded African Americans participating in these 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino for Team USA. 6 African Americans in All among the 211 mostly White American Olympians. These other 4 are 3 Bobsledders and a Figure Skater.

Theirs is also an important message to Tell.

They are

Randy Jones

Aaron Parchem

Bill Schuffenhauser

Lorenzo Smith III

Pairs Figure Skater Aaron Parchem with his white female partner already had their Moment in Torino. They finished 13th among 20 Pairs in their event early in these Olympics. Parchem became the First African American Male Figure Skater to ever compete in the Winter Olympics. He joins Debbie Thomas who in 1988 won the Bronze Medal in Singles Figure Skating. The First African American to ever win a Medal in the Winter Olympics.

Bobsledding will Headline

the Second Week

And while Vonetta Flowers will be Center Stage attempting the Impossible a Second Olympic Gold in 2 Women Bobsled, 3 African American men will compete in 4 Man Bobsled all 3 on the same team as Push Athletes.

More African Americans as few as they are have competed in the Winter Olympics as Push Athletes in Bobsled. The most famous of them all Hershel Walker 14 long years ago in 1992. Walker far better known for his Heisman Trophy and 12 years as a running back in the NFL.

But even Walker for all his prowess and Fame was a Push Athlete in Olympic Bobsled. Therein lies another Olympic Story and another Barrier African Americans have not Leapt Over yet.

Far and away the key position in Bob Sled is Driver.

The Push Athletes be they Walker in the past or today Jones, Schuffenhauser, Smith or Gold Medalist Flowers, once they Push Off at the Start of their Run they simply crouch in the Sled. Far and away the Driver determines Victory or Defeat and is the Leader of their Bobsled Team. All the Bobsled Drivers in Winter Olympic history have always been White Athletes. 2006 is NO exception.

Vonetta Flowers has already declared Win or Lose this is her “last” Olympics as a Push Athlete. She is determined to be a Driver at the next Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2010. Lets hope African American male Bobsledders are just as determined to Drive not only Push in 2010.

For now it’s time

to Dream of Black Gold

in Olympic Bobsled

here in Torino

let’s Pull for Them

this Week

while they


for All of us.