Evelyn Ashford

Last updated
Evelyn Ashford
Personal information
BornApril 15, 1957 (1957-04-15) (age 61) [1]
Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S. [1]
Height165 cm (5 ft 5 in) [1]
Weight53 kg (117 lb) [1]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)60 yd: 6.54 WR (1982)
60 m: 7.08 (1988)
100 m: 10.76 (1984)
200 m: 21.83 (1979)
400 m: 51.57 (1979)

Evelyn Ashford (born April 15, 1957 in Shreveport, Louisiana) is an American retired track and field athlete, the 1984 Olympic champion in the 100-meter dash. She ran under the 11-second barrier over 30 times and was the first to run under 11 seconds in an Olympic Games. [2]

Shreveport, Louisiana City in Louisiana, United States

Shreveport is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the most populous city in the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area. Shreveport ranks third in population in Louisiana after New Orleans and Baton Rouge and 126th in the U.S. The bulk of Shreveport is in Caddo Parish, of which it is the parish seat. Shreveport extends along the west bank of the Red River into neighboring Bossier Parish. Shreveport and Bossier City are separated by the Red River. The population of Shreveport was 199,311 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The United States Census Bureau's 2017 estimate for the city's population decreased to 192,036.

Track and field is a sport which includes athletic contests established on the skills of running, jumping, and throwing. The name is derived from the sport's typical venue: a stadium with an oval running track enclosing a grass field where the throwing and some of the jumping events take place. Track and field is categorized under the umbrella sport of athletics, which also includes road running, cross country running, and race walking.

Olympic Games major international sport event

The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.

As a 19-year-old, Ashford finished 5th in the 100 m event at the 1976 Summer Olympics. After beating the World Record holders in the 100 m and 200 m in 1979 at the World Cup of Track and Field in Montreal, Ashford was one of the potential medalists for the 1980 Summer Olympics, but these Games were boycotted by the United States. Evelyn also tore a quad muscle in May, and was out for the rest of the season.

1976 Summer Olympics Games of the XXI Olympiad, held in Montréal in 1976

The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially called the Games of the XXI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event in Montreal, Quebec, in 1976, and the first Olympic Games held in Canada.

1980 Summer Olympics Games of the XXII Olympiad, held in Moscow in 1980

The 1980 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Moscow, Soviet Union, in present-day Russia.

1980 Summer Olympics boycott

The 1980 Summer Olympics boycott was one part of a number of actions initiated by the United States to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union, which hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics, and other countries would later boycott the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Ashford was ranked No. 1 in the world by Track & Field News over 100 metres in 1979 and 1981, [3] and over 200 metres in 1981. [4] She also was named Track and Field News "Athlete of the Year" twice, in 1981 and 1984 [5]

Track & Field News is an American monthly sports magazine founded in 1948 by brothers Bert Nelson and Cordner Nelson, focused on the world of track and field.

She would again win the sprint double, at the World Cup of Track and Field in Rome, in 1981.

On July 3, 1983, she set her first World Record (be it at altitude) for the 100 metres, running 10.79 seconds at the National Sports Festival in Colorado Springs, Colorado and was one of the favourites to win the 100 metre title at the inaugural World Championships in Helsinki. In the final, however, she pulled a hamstring muscle and fell. The other main favourite, Marlies Göhr of East Germany (who had already beaten Ashford earlier that year) went on to win.

Colorado Springs, Colorado Home rule municipality in Colorado, United States

Colorado Springs is a home rule municipality that is the largest city by area in Colorado as well as the county seat and the most populous municipality of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. Colorado Springs is located in the east central portion of the state. It is situated on Fountain Creek and is located 60 miles (97 km) south of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver.

1983 World Championships in Athletics 1983 edition of the World Championships in Athletics

The inaugural 1983 World Championships in Athletics were run under the auspices of the International Association of Athletics Federations and were held at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland between 7 and 14 August 1983.

Helsinki Capital city in Uusimaa, Finland

Helsinki is the capital and most populous city of Finland. Located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it is the seat of the region of Uusimaa in southern Finland, and has a population of 650,058. The city's urban area has a population of 1,268,296, making it by far the most populous urban area in Finland as well as the country's most important center for politics, education, finance, culture, and research. Helsinki is located 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 400 km (250 mi) east of Stockholm, Sweden, and 390 km (240 mi) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It has close historical ties with these three cities.

At the 1984 Summer Olympics, Ashford had a chance to win a gold medal. However, she had to withdraw from the 200 m heats with a minor injury. She competed in the 100 m, winning the event in a new Olympic Record of 10.97 secs. As the anchor runner for 4 × 100 m relay team, she won a second gold medal. In the absence of World Champions and world record holders East Germany, the US team clocked one of the fastest times in history and won by the biggest margin ever at an Olympics, 1.12 seconds. [2]

1984 Summer Olympics Games of the XXIII Olympiad, held in Los Angeles in 1984

The 1984 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that was held from July 28 to August 12, 1984, in Los Angeles, California, United States. This was the second time that Los Angeles had hosted the Games, the first being in 1932.

These are the official results of the Women's 100m metres event at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. The final was held on August 5, 1984.

Later in the season, she finally defeated her main rival Göhr at the Weltklasse meeting in Zürich, Switzerland. The race saw Ashford make up half a metre or so over Göhr and lower her own World Record to 10.76 secs. See the race on YouTube That race proved to be Ashford's personal record. It still ranks as the No. 8 Individual all-time [6] Ashford, unsurprisingly, regained her No. 1 Track & Field News ranking. [3]

Zürich Place in Switzerland

Zürich or Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich. The municipality has approximately 409,000 inhabitants, the urban agglomeration 1.315 million and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million. Zürich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both Zürich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.

Switzerland federal republic in Western Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western, central and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva.

YouTube video-sharing service owned by Google

YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries.

At the 1988 Summer Olympics, she was the flag bearer for the United States team at the Opening Ceremony. She was beaten in the 100 m by Florence Griffith Joyner, who had broken her World Record earlier in the season at the Olympic Trials. In the 4 × 100 m relay she again ran the final leg, winning her third Olympic gold medal despite a less than perfect last exchange between Griffith-Joyner and Ashford that required Ashford to run a sensational final leg to overtake Göhr. [2]

At her last Olympics in Barcelona, Ashford, aged 35, was eliminated in the 100 m semi-finals by 1/100th of a second; she went on to win her third straight Olympic 4 × 100 m relay gold, this time running 1st leg. She is one of only six women to have won four gold medals in track and field Olympic history. [2]

Ashford came back from season ending injuries three times, to reach the top of the sport in the following year. In 1980 she injured her quad, and returned in 1981 with the sprint double at the World Cup and the number one world ranking in both sprints. After an injury in 1983, she became double Olympic Champion in 1984. In 1987 a hamstring pull prevented her from competing at the World Championships, then a season later added an Olympic Silver and third Gold medal to her collection.

On May 30, 1985 she gave birth to her daughter Raina Ashley Washington, and again came back for an excellent 1986, losing only once over both the 100 m and 200 m, and winning the 100 meter title at the Goodwill Games; earning another No. 1 ranking by Track & Field News over the shorter distance.

After parting ways with her coach Pat Connolly (herself a 3-time Olympian) in 1985, Ashford was largely self-coached.

In 1997, Ashford was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, [7] where she is said to be "one of the greatest track and field runners ever." Ashford went to the University of California, Los Angeles and Roseville High School. She was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Evelyn Ashford". Summer Olympics Athletes Fan Guide. ESPN . Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Evelyn Ashford". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
  3. 1 2 T&FN 100m rankings www.trackandfieldnews.com
  4. T&FN 200m rankings www.trackandfieldnews.com
  5. Athlete of the Year Archived 2011-11-18 at the Wayback Machine www.trackandfieldnews.com
  6. IAAF All Time list www.iaaf.org
  7. USATF Hall of Fame Bio www.usatf.org
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Lyle Nelson
Flagbearer for Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Seoul 1988
Succeeded by
Bill Koch
Preceded by
Marlies Göhr
Women's 100 m World Record Holder
July 3, 1983 – July 16, 1988
Succeeded by
Florence Griffith-Joyner
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ilona Briesenick
Jarmila Kratochvílová
Women's Track & Field Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Marita Koch
Preceded by
Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Flo Hyman Memorial Award
Succeeded by
Chris Evert
New award Women's Track & Field ESPY Award
Succeeded by
Gail Devers
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bärbel Wöckel
Women's 200 m Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Marita Koch