2002 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Jordan, Frazier, Harden, Jackson, Little, Dearing
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE SPORTS AND BUSINESS CAREER OF FIVE-TIME OLYMPIAN WILLYE B. WHITE OF GREENWOOD, MISSISSIPPI, THE FIRST WOMAN FROM MISSISSIPPI TO COMPETE AND WIN A MEDAL IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES.
WHEREAS, two-time silver medalist Willye White participated on five United States Olympic teams at five Olympiads; in 1956, Melbourn, Australia; 1960, Rome, Italy; 1964, Tokyo, Japan; 1968, Mexico City, Mexico; and 1972, Munich, Germany; and
WHEREAS, Willye White is the first woman from Mississippi to compete in the Olympic Games and win a medal; and
WHEREAS, Willye won her first Olympic silver medal in the long jump at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. At the 1964 Games in Tokyo, she won a second silver medal in the 4x100 relay. Willye was also a member of, and medalist on, four Pan American teams. In 1959, she set an American record in the long jump that stood for 16 years; and
WHEREAS, as a member of 39 international sports teams over the course of her career, Willye has competed in more than 150 nations. She represented her sport on the U.S. Olympic Committee, was a coach for the National Sports Festival in 1979 and 1981, was coach and manager for the 1981 World Cup Track and Field Championship in Brussels and Rome, and was Head Coach for the 1994 Olympic Sports Festival; and
WHEREAS, a native of Greenwood, Mississippi, a 1959 graduate of Broad Street High School, and a graduate of Chicago State University, Willye is a member of the National Association of Sports and Physical Education Hall of Fame, the Black Sports Hall of Fame, the Women Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame, the Helms Hall of Fame, the Mississippi State Hall of Fame and the Tennessee State University Hall of Fame. She is on the Board of Directors of the American Council on Exercise, the Illinois Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Health and numerous other athletic boards and committees; and
WHEREAS, Willye has a broad range of experience as a sports commentator and broadcaster with NBC, CBS, ESPN, WTBS and Armed Forces Radio. She was the official spokesperson for the AAU Junior Olympics from 1983 through 1987; Willye is Founder and President of the Willye White Foundation and WBW Hang On Productions; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we welcome to Mississippi this star athlete and role model for future Olympians, who has brought honor to her school, her community and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the sports and business career of 5-Time Olympian Willye B. White of Greenwood, Mississippi, the first woman from Mississippi to compete and win a medal in the Olympic Games, and welcome her to her native state and wishing her continued success in her future endeavors.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Willye White and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.