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About the Author
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.
Included in Publishers Weekly's roundup of African American Interest Adult Titles, 2018-2019
Included in the 2018 35 Over 35 List
Featured title selected by Bustle from the 35 Over 35 List
"In Tigerbelle, Tyus reclaims her story and shares it with a new generation who has much to learn from her struggles...Tyus' voice is engaging throughout, capturing the reader's attention and never letting go as she tells her unfairly forgotten story of Olympic glory."
--Fansided, Included in A Black History Month sports reading list
"Tyus was the first Olympian to win two consecutive gold medals in the 100m when she won in the 1964 Tokyo Games and in the 1968 Mexico City Games. She chronicled her track and field career in her autobiography Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story."
--Los Angeles Sentinel
"[Dave] Zirin's Edge of Sports imprint at Akashic is publishing Tigerbelle (Sept.), a memoir from two-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter Wyomia Tyus. The daughter of a tenant farmer in rural Georgia, she won top honors at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics. In the book, coauthored by Elizabeth Terzakis, she recalls her turbulent path to the top and her struggle to find recognition afterward."
--Publishers Weekly, Sports Preview
"This timely and important autobiography reintroduces a pioneer whose values and personal strength transcend her extraordinary athletic achievements, reestablishing her place in history, both on and off the track."
"Her new memoir, Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story, explores her life, from her childhood growing up on a dairy farm in Griffin, Georgia, to her journey to becoming part of the Tennessee State Tigerbelles and then using her success as a platform to move equality forward in sports. Throughout her life, and in the new book, she drew inspiration from her track and field coach Ed Temple, who produced 40 Olympic athletes in his career and always saw the potential of black women athletes, including Tyus, during the 1960s and beyond."
"Tigerbelle tells a story of a great athlete in an underappreciated sport, a sport that, despite the money, is still undervalued and deserving of greater reward and recognition."
--Track & Field News
"You can say track stars Gail Devers, Carl Lewis and even Usain Bolt ran in the footsteps of Wyomia Tyus."
--New York Amsterdam News
"A must read. Written with clarity, candor, and boundless energy, it demonstrates the resolve of the human spirit to emerge victorious against the greatest odds."
"The book's strength...rests not simply with recovering a past of sporting accomplishments we have chosen to ignore. Tigerbelle is a powerful book because of the many ways in which Tyus's resistance, against the realities of racism and sexism, is threaded throughout almost every part of the manuscript...The narrative is deeply personal, yet never self-absorbed. Many readers will find inspiration and meaning in Wyomia Tyus's stories. In that way the book is both a selfless and resistive act."
"It's an interesting account, especially for what it shows about [Tyus's] world, which became dramatically wider (she was raised in the rural south but traveled extensively as a result of her athletic expertise) as well as for the gender dynamics prevailing in the era when she was coming up as an Olympian."
--History News Network
"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's perspective is observant, thoughtful, and full of hope--a voice of her generation that needs to be heard."
--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 Tigerbelle coach Edward S. Temple