Evelyn Ashford was the first female sprinter to break the 11-second barrier in the 100m dash at an Olympic Games. She is also a four-time Olympic gold medalist and former world record holder in the 100m dash.
Ashford could have won more medals if it weren’t for the United States’ boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. She won the 100m dash at the Los Angeles Olympics and was part of the women’s 4x100m relay team that won the gold. Given the absence of her top rivals from the Soviet bloc, who boycotted the LA Games, Ashford seemed like a sure bet to win a third gold in the 200m dash, but she suffered a minor injury that forced her to withdraw from the heats.
In Seoul, she won another gold in the 4x100m relay but was beaten in the 100m dash by compatriot Florence Griffith-Joyner and settled for the silver. In her final Olympics in Barcelona, Ashford won another gold in the 4x100m relay, bringing her total Olympic haul to four gold medals and one silver. She remains one of only a handful of female athletes to win at least four golds in athletics.
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