Coachman was from a poor background in Albany, Georgia with little parental support for her sporting ambitions and segregation also limited her access to top-quality training facilities.
Undeterred, the youngster who had no idea she’d someday make history develop her strength and technique. She made a high jump crossbar out of rope and sticks. She also developed her stamina by running barefoot on hard dusty roads.
She grew up to take national titles in the 50m and 100m, as well as, the 400m relay and was also a tremendous basketball player. She took the American national high jump title 10 years in a row in the run-up to 1948.