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Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story

By: and

A timely memoir about world-record-breaking Wyomia Tyus’s 1964 and 1968 Olympic victories amidst the turbulence of the 1960s, along with contemporary reflections. ***Tigerbelle will be available wherever books are sold on September 4, 2018 and exclusively from our website on March 26, 2018. Paperback orders placed through our website will ship immediately, and hardcover orders will ship on or before 4/9/18.

Forthcoming: 9/4/18

$15.95 $11.96

What people are saying…

“Tigerbelle offers a fresh perspective on the history of women’s sports in the United States. From her one-of-a-kind accomplishments on the track to her contributions to equal pay and publicity for women through the Women’s Sports Foundation, Wyomia Tyus has earned her place in the pantheon of American sports sheroes and heroes.”
—Billie Jean King

“Wyomia Tyus’s story is truly an American story. It is one of profound loss and quiet courage, illustrating the contradictions of race and gender in this country and an unrelenting commitment to growth in spite of life’s obstacles. From a dairy farm in Griffin, Georgia, to the annals of American sports history, Tyus inspires and teaches us all about ‘getting out of the blocks’ with humility, grace, and power. Her story gives true meaning to the phrase, Black Girl Magic!”
—Eddie S. Glaude Jr., chair of the Center for African-American Studies at Princeton University

“Wyomia Tyus has been an eyewitness to the cutting edge of history. Along with her Tigerbelle teammates, she pioneered sporting opportunities for women. As a great Olympic champion, she became the first person to successfully defend an Olympic hundred-meter-dash title. As a black woman, she saw how America treated her heroes, and how quickly they were cast aside. Wyomia is a bright, thoughtful, observant, and articulate voice of her generation.”
—John Naber, five-time Olympic medalist swimmer

“Wyomia Tyus adds an important page to the story of black women athletes and their accomplishments during the civil rights era. Highlighting the courage, commitment, and mutual support of the Tigerbelles, and the hard work and dedication of our father figure and coach, Ed Temple, this is a must-read for all generations.”
—Edith McGuire Duvall, Tigerbelle, Olympic gold medalist

“Wyomia Tyus understood what the ‘Ed Temple way’ meant–strict discipline, integrity, and, most important, love. Her stories make clear how the Tigerbelles were able to succeed in the classroom, on the track, and in the world.”
—Dr. Edwina R. Temple, daughter of Tigerbelles coach Edward S. Temple


The latest from Akashic’s Edge of Sports imprint, curated by Dave Zirin.

In 1968, Wyomia Tyus became the first person ever to win gold medals in the 100-meter sprint in two consecutive Olympic Games, a feat that would not be repeated for twenty years or exceeded for almost fifty. Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story chronicles her journey from her childhood as the daughter of a tenant dairy farmer in rural Georgia through her Olympic triumphs to her post-competition struggles to attain recognition and find meaningful work.

While winning back-to-back gold is Tyus’s claim to fame, her story would be compelling even if she had never gone to the Olympics. Her description of the “safe haven” that was her childhood home, its destruction through a family tragedy, and her gradual recovery from that tragedy with the help of track, her legendary coach Ed Temple, and the other Tigerbelles is a uniquely American tale told from a viewpoint that remains all too often unseen.

The Hidden Figures of sport, Tigerbelle helps to fill the gap currently occupying black women’s place in American history, providing insight not only on what it takes to be a champion but also on what it means to stake out an identity in an often hostile world. The book offers inspiration to readers from all walks of life, from up-and-coming female athletes searching for motivation, to sports fans seeking an inside view on a renowned coach; from activists striving for justice, to teachers looking for a fresh take on American history; from parents hunting for new ways to answer their children’s questions, to anyone who enjoys an exciting and uplifting story.

With a foreword by MSNBC host Joy Reid, and an afterword by sportswriter Dave Zirin.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Published: 9/4/18
  • IBSN: 9781617756580
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756733
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617756764


WYOMIA TYUS was born and raised in Griffin, Georgia. She attended Tennessee State University in Nashville and ran under the tutelage of visionary coach Ed Temple as a member of the Tigerbelles until she graduated in 1968. A four-time Olympic medalist, the holder of multiple world records, and winner of many Amateur Athletic Union championships, Tyus was also a supporter of the Olympic Project for Human Rights during the 1968 Olympics, doing her part to promote justice for oppressed people around the world. As a founding member of the Women’s Sports Foundation, she continues to advocate for women’s equality in sports to this day. Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story is her first book.

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ELIZABETH TERZAKIS teaches English and creative writing at a community college in Northern California. Her fiction has appeared in New England Review, Minerva Rising, Solstice, and Birdland Journal, and her nonfiction publications include articles on the global AIDS crisis, education, free speech, human nature, and capital punishment. Tigerbelle is her first book.

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