August 31, 2015

OURstory: George Poage, First Black Olympic Medal Winner

On this date in 1904, George Poage became the first Black Olympic medal winner. Poage won a bronze medal in the third Olympic games in St. Louis, Missouri.

George Poage grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In high school, he ran in track meets, winning in various competitions. After graduating in 1899, he began attending the University of Wisconsin. This is photo of the 1903 University of Wisconsin track team. Poage is on the bottom row to the left.

In 1904, Poage competed in the Olympic games. Four hundred ninety-six athletes from eleven countries competed. Poage won two bronze medals, one for the 200-meter hurdle and the other for the 400-meter hurdle.

We need to tell OURstory more often. We won't hear about people like George Poage if we simply listen to his-story.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Slight date error ..... George won his second bronze medal on September 1 that year (in 1904) for his 200-meter hurdles. Actually, he was the first Black medalist, having won a bronze the day earlier on August 31st of 1904 at the St. Louis Olympic Games!