The First Female Gold Medalists, Week 12: Weightlifting & Bobsled

Excerpts taken from Team USA’s article dated March 24, 2016. 

This week, we head into the new millennium and the American women continued their dominance.

2000, Sydney – Tara Nott, Weightlifting

Nott was a multi-talented athlete, having trained in three different sports at the U.S. Olympic Training Centers (gymnastics, soccer and weightlifting). She found her most success in weightlifting, winning seven national championships, two Pan American Games gold medals and one Olympic gold. She became the first American weightlifter to do so in 40 years and was the first female Olympic weightlifting champion. She made a second Olympic team in 2004, finishing 10th.

2002, Salt Take City – Vonetta Flowers and Jill Bakken

Though men’s bobsled had been a staple on the Olympic program dating back to 1924, women’s bobsled made its debut at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Bakken and Flowers entered the competition as an underdog, not even supposed to be the top U.S. team. By beating not only their compatriots but also two heavily-favored German teams, they ended a 46-year U.S. medal drought in Olympic bobsled. Flowers became the first black athlete ever to win a gold medal at a Winter Games.