In a sport where Black girls have already made significant strides, it’s time to acknowledge the remarkable achievements of two Black boys who have recently taken the gymnastics world by storm. 

 Fred Richard and Khoi Young, along with their talented teammates, have made history with their exceptional performances, showcasing their prowess on the international stage. 

According to The Black Wall Street Times, Fred Richard and Khoi Young played pivotal roles in securing a bronze medal for Team USA at this year’s Gymnastics World Championships held in Antwerp, Belgium. This marked a significant milestone, as it was the first time since 2014 that the United States men’s gymnastics team claimed a well-deserved medal. 

While the journey to the podium was not without its challenges, Fred Richard, the defending 2023 U.S. high bar champion, demonstrated resilience when it mattered most. Despite facing setbacks in the qualification round, Richard made a remarkable comeback during the team competition, earning an outstanding score of 14.533 on the high bar, surpassing all other team participants. 

Khoi Young’s unwavering consistency and flawless execution on the vault contributed an impressive 14.666 points to Team USA’s total score. Furthermore, he showcased his excellence on the pommel horse, scoring 13.600, the highest among his teammates in that discipline. 

Fred Richard, now recognized as the youngest U.S. athlete to secure a medal in a global gymnastics’ competition, secured victory for Team USA on the high bar with a flawless landing, pushing Great Britain to third place. 

 Although Japan and the People’s Republic of China took the top two spots with scores of 255.594 and 253.794, respectively, Team USA’s collective success, totaling 252.428 points, marked their fourth world champion team medal in the history of U.S. Men’s Gymnastics. 

The achievements of Khoi Young, Fred Richard, and their teammates Asher Hong, Paul Juda, and Yul Moldauer are a testament to the legacy of several Black male athletes who paved the way for them in the sport of gymnastics.  

One such trailblazer was James Kanati Allen, who in 1968 became the first African American gymnast to earn a spot on an Olympic squad, during a time when the Civil Rights Movement was making significant strides towards equality. 

Another remarkable figure was Louis Smith, who, in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, became the second Black male gymnast to win an individual Olympic medal. His achievement marked the first Olympic medal for a British athlete since the women’s team in 1928. 

In 2019, at just 20 years old, Joe Fraser made history as Great Britain’s first Black male gymnast to win a gold medal at the World Championships in Stuttgart. His remarkable feat made him the third British champion in history and the youngest to achieve such an honor. 

Much like Khoi Young and Fred Richard, Joe Fraser’s future in the sport looks promising, continuing to inspire a new generation of gymnasts and showcasing the enduring impact of Black male athletes in the world of gymnastics. 



Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images 

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