Queen of the Track



Queen of the Track book trailer
Alice Coachman, future Olympic champion, competing for Tuskeegee University, clears the high-jump bar.

Alice soars over the high jump.

Alice anchors her relay team: Lucy Newell, Leila Perry, Rowena Harrison and
Alice Coachman

In her own words...

More photos of Alice

"It's my wish that every young person read this inspiring book. Alice Coachman is truly a hero and her accomplishments remind us all to never give up when the odds are against us."
—  Jackie Joyner–Kersee, Olympic gold medalist

Alice Coachman, competing for Tuskeegee University,  takes the starting position at a track and field meet.
Queen Of The Track: Alice Coachman Olympic high-jump champion, by Heather Lang, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, published by Boyds Mills Press
Alice Coachman, future Olympic champion 
            anchors her Tuskeegee University track and field relay team, including Lucy Newell, Leila Perry and Rowena Harrison

Watch Alice jump at the 1948 London Olympics.

See Alice Coachman with author Heather Lang

Read about Alice on teamusa.org

Visit Alice at her website.

Watch Alice talk about her childhood.

Learn about Alice's favorites

Alice Coachnam and Dorothy Tyler compete in the high-jump
                 finals at the 1948 London Olympics

When Alice Coachman was a girl, most white people wouldn't shake her hand. Yet when the King of England placed an Olympic medal around her neck, he extended his hand to Alice in congratulations. Standing on a podium in London's Wembley Stadium, Alice was a long way from the fields of Georgia where she ran barefoot as a child. With a record-breaking leap, she had become the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal. Here is the inspiring story of an athlete who never took her eyes off the prize.

Floyd Cooper is the award-winning illustrator of more than 75 books for children. You can visit him at floydcooper.com.

*A portion of the author's royalties will be donated to the Alice Coachman Foundation, which helps deserving and proven amateur athletes reach their full potential.

Boyds Mills Press
40 pages
Ages: 5 and up
Full-color illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-59078-850

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Get to know Alice

“From the very first gold medal I won in 1939, my momma used to stress being humble. You're no better than anyone else. The people you pass on the ladder will be the same people you'll be with when the ladder comes down.”
— Alice to New York Times, April 27, 1995

Alice Coachman, future Olympic champion attacks the hurdles for Tuskeegee University. She later finished college degree at Albany State University

“When the going gets tough and you feel like throwing your hands in the air, listen to that voice that tells you 'Keep going. Hang in there.' Guts and determination will pull you through.”
— Alice to The New York Times, April 27, 1995

Alice attacks the hurdles.

All photos courtesy of Tuskegee University Archives, Tuskegee University

“The [high jump] pits they have now —
I could sleep in them.”
— Alice to Newsday, May 6, 1996

“You have to have some guts if you want to get somewhere. You can't just give up. You have to go on and on and on.”
— Alice to The Denver Post, June 27, 2004