It's no secret that black athletes haven't been all too involved in the Winter Olympics. In fact, there were only around 20 competing in the 2010 Games which took place in Vancouver. The absence of black athletes may point to a number of issues, such as a lack of interest in comparison to the events in the Summer Games or the high costs of equipment, training, and even travel to specific locations. But it seems as though the tide is turning.
In addition to the return of the Jamaican bobsleigh team, the United States has the return of Shani Davis, who is looking to become the first male Olympian to win gold in the same individual event in three consecutive Winter Games, as well as five black athletes on the U.S. bobsled team.
As we look forward to seeing more and more black Olympians dominating in Sochi this month, let's take a look at the individuals who broke down the barriers while giving other black up-and-coming athletes from their respective countries something to strive for. From the aforementioned Shani to Debi Thomas, the first black athlete to capture a Winter Olympics medal in 1988, to Vonetta Flowers, the first black athlete to win a Winter Olympic gold eight years ago, here is The Complete History of Black Winter Olympic Medalists.