Figure this? Black girl ice skaters have been in the Olympic Games for more decades than you think. Making history in this dancing-on-ice event however is the one and only Tai Babilonia. She’s RAD indeed…here’s 10 reasons why.
#1 She’s A Part Of Black History
Babilonia was the first figure skater of partial African-American descent to win U.S. and World titles–which was not an easy fete at the time. Breaking down racial barriers would’ve never been possible though without the help of African-American figure skater and coach Mabel Fairbanks; she was the RAD lady responsible for linking Babilonia and Gardner back in 1968. Each one teach one–Fairbanks was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1997 and Babilonia was right be her side.
#2 Age Aint Nothing But A Number
Babilonia was a young contender in the figure skating game, spending her teenage years kicking butts and taking names. Like most professionals, she was hard on herself and at 54, it is evident all her perfectionism paid off. She says she still really enjoys doing death spirals, spread eagles and ina bauers too! Wow!
#3 She Doesn’t Have Commitment Issues
On and off the ice, Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner are quite the winning pair. Literally. The pair became five-time U.S. national champions and won the gold medal at the 1979 World Championships.They were medal favorites at the 1980 Winter Olympics, but were unfortunately forced to withdraw due to an injury to Gardner. “The 1980 Olympic experience taught us that on any given day, anything can happen. You keep pushing forward and never look back!” Babilonia told author Priscilla Gilman. Can you say committed? This dynamic duo recently just hit the 45 year mark in their friendship. How beautiful!
#4 Cali Girls Do It Best
As a native sun-soaking FitGirl, I am not surprised to discover that Tai Babilonia was born in Los Angeles, CA. She started ice skating at the age of six and was an instant favorite at the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club. No wonder she was paired with partner Randy Gardner after only two years in the game, making her an eight-year-old phenom!
#5 Mommy 101
If you ask Babilonia what her greatest accomplishment was, she would say without a doubt her son, Scout. He is her one and only child with former husband, Cary Butler. Currently Scout is 19-years-old and is her biggest supporter and cheerleader.
Also On HelloBeautiful:
Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"