Nelson Vails: The Harlem kid who became US cycling's first Black Olympic medalist

Nelson Vails celebrates with Mark Gorski after the sprint in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

February is Black History Month in the United States and Cyclingnews will be featuring stories both looking back at Black accomplishments in the sport and toward the future. In this feature, we check in with Olympian Nelson Vails.

In the world of cycling, Olympic medalists are rare, and medalists from the United States even rarer. But Nelson Vails is a one of a kind: the first, and only, Black Olympic medalist from the USA in cycling, with silver in the individual sprint behind teammate Mark Gorski in Los Angeles in 1984.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1