More than 40 black athletes are competing at the Winter Olympics.

David Leonard
David Leonard

“It demonstrates that there is progress being made through the hard work perseverance and talents of athletes of colour who are making the US Winter Olympic team look like the United States, and that’s something we should celebrate,” said David Leonard, a professor in the Washington State University Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies.

But Leonard and others say the diversity issue is far from settled. Some winter sports, notably biathlon and speedskating, fell short of the United States Olympic Committee leadership’s 2016 diversity and inclusion scorecard benchmarks for athletes of color on U.S. national teams, the most recent data available.

The diversity goals are different for each sport and include criteria such as financial resources, staff size, and a particular sport’s NCAA pipeline.

“The fact that there’s still work to be done demonstrates that issues surrounding access, surrounding inequalities, persist,” Leonard said.

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