Legendary Olympian Awarded Female Iba Award

Monday, June 27th 2016, 11:51 pm
By: News On 6

Monday night, Madeline Manning Mims won the female Iba Award. The gold medalist and three-time Olympian has a legacy on and off the track.

Mims has worn many hats during her distinguished career - she's a chaplain, a singer, and she's pursuing a doctorate.

"Just taking the opportunity that comes your way to be a blessing to others, it's so important that what you do increase other people's lives. That is what increases mine," she said.

And that's post Olympics.

Mims is also a Gold Medalist; she won the 800-meter run in 1968. It started when a young Ohioan went down to Nashville to race for the famous Tennessee State Tigerbelles, including the likes of Gold Medalists Wilma Rudolph and Wyomia Tyus.

"You were a Tigerbelle because you were top in the world,” she said. “Each year you had to prove again that you would be top, so that legacy is huge."

Her Tigerbelles were part a group that excelled in the 1968 Olympics.

It was also know for Tommie Smith and John Carlos who were well known for their Black Power Salute.

"I was very aware of the conflict we were having at that time, between blacks and whites, because I having to run from bullets to go from my dorm to the track. What they believe has now proven to be very life worthy and that they needed to do what they did," Mims said.

Her individual legacy to the sport, beginning a new era for women's distance running.

"I was opening the door for women of color all over the world. When I was able to finish and win over my competition, delegates started looking at their ladies and saying, maybe they could run," she said.

And now, Mims will use her platform with Sports Chaplains of America to help at the Olympic Trials, and the current athletes will certainly learn from one of the best of the past.