Theresa ("Tessa") Ione Sanderson
</small> (born 14 March 1956) is a former British javelin
thrower and heptathlete
who competed in the javelin competition in every one of the six Olympics from 1976–1996 winning the Gold medal in 1984. She is the second Track & Field
athlete, after Lia Manoliu
(discus), to compete at six Olympics
Sanderson was born in St Elizabeth
ancestry, she later emigrated to Wolverhampton
. She was the UK's leading javelin
thrower from the mid-1970s, winning silver in the 1978 European championships and gold in the Commonwealth Games
three times (1978, 1986, 1990), but was eclipsed during the 1980s by the up-and-coming Fatima Whitbread
, with whom she shared a long standing rivalry.
When Sanderson won the gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics
in the javelin, becoming the first British black woman ever to win Olympic gold, her victory was quite unexpected. In the end, her career outlasted Whitbread's, and she competed at senior international level until 1996. She served as Vice-Chairman of Sport England
from 1999 to 2005.
In 1988, she made an appearance on Bullseye
. In 2005, she took part in the one-off special, Strictly African Dancing
, as part of the Africa Lives
season on the BBC
. She was voted into third place by the viewers.
She was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire
(MBE) in the 1985 New Year's Honours, following her Olympic gold, raised to... Read More