Heritage athlete: TSU Alum Madeline Manning-Mims

Heritage athlete: Madeline Manning-Mims

Published June 24, 2012

Each day of Trials competition, renowned American athletes are honored in conjunction with the events of the day. Here is Monday’s honoree:

Madeline Manning-Mims

A three-time Olympian (1968, 1972, 1976), Madeline Manning-Mims first made her mark at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. At just 20 years of age while still a student at Tennessee State University, She set an Olympic record in the women’s 800 meters with a time of 2:00.9, besting the rest of the field by more than 10 meters at the race’s end. It would be the only gold medal of Manning-Mims’ career, though she also took home silver as a member of the 4×400-meter relay at the 1972 Olympic Games and set an American record in the 800 meters with a time of 1:57.9 in 1976.

Madeline-Mims came out of retirement three different times in her career, though none of these returns was more surprising than the last one when, at the age of 32, she won the U.S. Olympic Trials and earned a spot at the Moscow Olympic Games. Of course, in the midst of the Cold War, the United States went on to boycott these games, robbing her of a fourth Olympic appearance. She was inducted into the United States National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1984 and is also known as the founder of the United States Council for Sports Chaplaincy. Manning-Mims has served as a chaplain at all of the Olympic Games since 1988.

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