Rose Hart, the little-known African woman who represented Ghana at the 1964 Olympics and became a national hero

Farida Dawkins Aug 23, 2018 at 02:30pm

August 23, 2018 at 02:30 pm | History

Farida Dawkins

Farida Dawkins | Contributor

August 23, 2018 at 02:30 pm | History

Rose Hart, Ghana's representative at the 1964 Olympic Games - Photo taken by Efo Dela (@Amegaxi on Twitter) at the Osu Castle in Ghana

In the 1964 Olympic Games held in Tokyo, a 22-year-old relatively unknown athlete named Rose Hart competed in the hurdling, sprint and discus throw categories.  She didn’t earn any medals at the game, however, her presence at the sporting competition laid down the foundation for black African women athletes after the independence struggle.

In 1965 and 1973, respectively, Hart won gold medals at the All-Africa Games. Hart was born on January 9, 1942, in Ghana. She was a professionally trained track and field athlete.

She died in 2012.

Little is known about her life beyond athletics as documentation of the life of Ghanaian sports heroes was not done.

Ghana’s participation at the Olympic Games

The history behind Ghana’s participation in the Olympics began in 1952; while it was still the Gold Coast.

In 1951, the National Olympic Committee for Ghana was created. It was recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1952.

Since then, Ghana has represented at the Olympics except for the 1956 games and in 1976 when the nation opted to be absent due to the participation of New Zealand – the reason being that it still held links with Apartheid-ridden South Africa. Ghana boycotted the 1980 summer games in solidarity with the United States.  The West-African country was also a no-show at the 1980 summer and 2014 winter games.

Clement Quartey earned Ghana the silver medal in 1960 for boxing, Eddie Blay earned the bronze medal in 1964 for boxing, Prince Amartey earned the bronze medal in 1972 for boxing and the soccer team earned the nation a bronze medal in 1992 for the men’s football competition.

Ghana has also participated in the Winter Games, the initial time being in 2010.

During this year’s Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Akwasi Frimpong competed as a skeleton athlete, being the first skeleton athlete from West Africa to do so.

Ghanaian-born Maame Biney represented the U.S. in the skiing category.

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