07/27/2012 04:41 pm ET Updated Nov 14, 2014

Black U.S. Olympians: 10 Extraordinary African American Athletes

Whether flipping, backstroking, lunging, or kicking, these 10 black U.S. Olympians have all excelled at sports traditionally devoid of minority competitors.

Their extraordinary journeys from the the fencing strip, the Tae Kwon Do mat, and the balance beam to the 2012 Olympic games in London demonstrate that athletic excellence knows no boundaries, or color.

Check out the gallery below to find out what makes pioneers like Gabrielle Douglas, John Orozco, and Lia Neal exceptional.

Extraordinary Olympic Athletes

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Orozco was the first African-American male to have made the U.S. men's gymnastics team. There have been several black male members of the U.S. Olympic men's gymnastics squads before