First Native American woman in history to medal

Janee’ Kassanavoid medals at World Athletics Championships

The World Athletics Championships are finally being held on United States soil for the first time in history. With that home stand comes great responsibility, and American track and field athletes are holding their own. Janee’ Kassanavoid, for example, just became the first Native American woman ever to medal at these games. She received a bronze medal in the hammer throw event. 

Kassanvoid stood on the podium next to fellow American Brooke Andersen who won gold, and the two of them together made history. Along with Kassanavoid being the first Native American Woman to ever medal in the championships, she and Andersen also went down in history as being the first time two US women to have metaled in the World Athletics Championship. 

The championships are being held at the University of Oregon’s Hayward field. This land was previously occupied and home to indigenous Kalapuya people. These people were stripped of this homeland in the 1850’s by the United States government and moved to a reservation in western Oregon. Kassanavoid is a part of the Comanche Tribe. This was personal for her, considering she is a Native American woman. 

On her Instagram account, Kassanavoid posted pictures from the meet and captioned it with, “My goal is to empower and inspire; to use my platform to share my journey with the next generation of athletes.” She also made another post following her winning a medal and said, “My fellow natives, women, and young athletes, DREAM BIG, WORK HARD, & MAKE IT HAPPEN. WE’RE JUST GETTING STARTED.” 

Janee’ is an inspiration to other native Americans, and other athletes in general. She truly will stop at nothing to impact her community. 

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