Tessa Sanderson is an Olympic gold-winning javelin thrower who also has the distinction of being the first British black woman to win Olympic gold and compete in six separate ‘Olympic Games’.
She set several javelin records during her career, besting the UK record multiple times. She broke the 16-year losing streak for British women at the Commonwealth games and had two more winning appearances there throughout her athletic career. She attended six Olympics with varying success – the highlight of her Olympic career was her gold medal win in Los Angeles.
She also won first place at the ‘Athletic World Cup’ during her time competing. Her life was not one without controversy; a rivalry with a fellow athlete spanned a decade. Upon retirement from the sport, she invested back into her community by opening a sports academy for youths and served on the Olympic legacy committee. She was a primary figure in developing the presence of the 2012 Olympic venue and preserving its legacy for England.
Her work has been honored multiple times, including some of the highest honors from her country for her athletic and philanthropic achievements. She has firmly cemented her legacy as a trailblazer for both black women and British women athletes with her achievements.