Evelyn Ashford Deserves More

rich mathewsContributor IMay 12, 2010

Undated:  Evelyn Ashford of the USA in action during a 100 metres event. \ Mandatory Credit: Tony  Duffy/Allsport
Tony Duffy/Getty Images

Talk to people and ask them who is the greatest womens sprinter of all time and the name Evelyn Ashford does not come up nearly as often as it should.

Some people do not get the credit they deserve and she is one of them.  Sometimes the truth never gets told because it is not important enough.  There has been no greater female sprinter ever.  Yet the names Rudolph, Jones, FloJo or even Ottey will always surface but somehow she gets forgotton.

Yet if you look at her record. She participated in the 1976 olympics and placed 5th in the 100m and won a gold medal in the 1992 olympics.  That spans a total of 5 different Olympic competitions.  No sprinter has ever competed at the level she did for as long as she did.  Most sprinters will peak for one or two olympic competitions.

Evelyn ended up winning 4 gold medals and 1 silver over that span of 16 years.  You might say no big deal but if you look into her career you will see politics(boycott), steroids(many different runners) and an injury cost her probably another 6 or 7 gold medals.

Yet she was always gracious and beautiful.  Never did she complain or lash out.  So instead of having 10-12 olympic medals(most of them gold) she ended up with 5.  Imagine what people would have thought if she had 12 sprint medals

So she has my great respect forever.  Since she was gracious I will try to be also and not push things but no one will ever ever ever convince me that she was not the best female sprinter of all time.