One of the most prominent stereotypes in Track and Field labels Caucasians as not being up to par with the Black athletes. Not just in running events, but also in jumping events as well. Colored men and women do indeed dominate the sport. This can be seen through examples like Usain Bolt in the 100m, Flo Jo in the 100m, and Javier Sotomayor in the High Jump. These Colored athletes all happen to be world record holders. Not just at the Olympic or Professional level, this stereotype also affects youth Track and Field. Caucasians are seen as not being able to perform as well as their Black teammates, which adds to the stereotype that athletes of color dominate Track and Field.
Of course, there are standout performances by White athletes as well. Sally Pearson in the women’s 100m hurdles, and Jesse Williams of the men’s high jump are champions in their event, and have consistently performed better than their Colored competitors. Like these athletes, I too have won against athletes of all ethnicities. There are definitely many colored high jumpers better than me, but in my own competitive experience there have been times where I have out-jumped them. I like to believe this proves the stereotype that only the Black athletes can run or jump. I only make a minimal impact as I am not a world-class athlete, but there are thousands of standout Caucasian athletes making a greater impact against this stereotype. Throughout writing this response, I feel as if I am being oppressive towards my Colored athletes. I just wanted to note I am in no way trying to be racist, but trying to explain my position being a Caucasian makes me worry I am being offensive!