Wyomia Tyus (pronunciation: why-o-ma; born August 29, 1945 in Griffin, Georgia) is an American athlete, and the first person to retain the Olympic title in the 100 m.
Tyus, from Tennessee State University, participated in the 1964 Summer Olympics at age 19. In the heats of the event, she equalled Wilma Rudolph's World Record, propelling her to a favored position for the final, where her main rival would be fellow American Edith McGuire. Tyus won the final, beating McGuire by two tenths. At the same Olympics, she also won a silver medal with the 4 x 100 m relay team, finishing only behind Poland.
The following years, Tyus won numerous national championships in the sprint events, and a gold medal in the 200 m at the Pan-American Games. In 1968, she returned to the Olympics to defend her title in the 100 m. In the final, she set a new World Record of 11.08 to become the first woman to retain the Olympic 100 m title. Tyus also qualified for the 200 m final, in which she finished sixth. Running the final leg for the relay team, Tyus helped setting a new World Record, winning her third gold medal.
Tyus retired from amateur sports after the 1968 Olympics.
In 1973 she was invited to compete in the 60-yard dash in the new Professional International Track Association competitions. Her first year back she won eight of eighteen events, but the following year she won every event she entered, a total of twenty-two races. Tyus went on to coach at Beverly Hills High School and was a founding member of the Women's Sports Foundation.
During the Richard Dawson era of Family Feud, Tyus appeared with her family. They won the $5,000 prize. In 1980, Tyus was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. In 1985, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
1928: Betty Robinson (USA) • 1932: Stanisława Walasiewicz (POL) • 1936: Helen Stephens (USA) • 1948: Fanny Blankers-Koen (NED) • 1952: Marjorie Jackson (AUS) • 1956: Betty Cuthbert (AUS) • 1960: Wilma Rudolph (USA) • 1964: Wyomia Tyus (USA) • 1968: Wyomia Tyus (USA) • 1972: Renate Stecher (GDR) • 1976: Annegret Richter (FRG) • 1980: Lyudmila Kondratyeva (URS) • 1984: Evelyn Ashford (USA) • 1988: Florence Griffith-Joyner (USA) • 1992: Gail Devers (USA) • 1996: Gail Devers (USA) • 2000: Vacant • 2004: Yulia Nestsiarenka (BLR) • 2008: Shelly-Ann Fraser (JAM)
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