Oct. 1, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Two Olympians from Queens who won gold medals at the Tokyo Summer Games were honored at a ceremony in Kew Gardens Friday.
Track and field athlete Dalilah Muhammad and basketball player Tina Charles were both presented with the “Key to Queens” by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards in recognition of their achievements at this year’s Olympic games. The event took place at Queens Borough Hall.
Muhammad, who is from Rochdale Village, won a gold medal with Team USA in the women’s 4 x 400-meter relay. She finished second in the women’s 400-meter hurdle final – falling agonizingly short of clinching a gold medal – in one of the most highly-anticipated races at the Games.
Charles, an East Elmhurst native, brought home gold with Team USA women’s basketball squad.
The ceremony was also attended by Council Members Adrienne Adams and Francisco Moya as well as students from the high schools where the athletes went.
Muhammad went to school at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside while Charles attended Christ the King High School in Middle Village.
Richards congratulated the Olympians and said that they were a source of pride.
“They are role models and inspirations to the countless young people of our borough — kids who now know that with hard work and dedication, there is no limit to what a child of Queens can achieve,” Richards said.
He also presented them with proclamations declaring Oct. 1, 2021 as both Dalilah Muhammad Day and Tina Charles Day in the Borough of Queens.
The Tokyo Games was not the first time the pair had won gold.
In 2016, Muhammad won the Olympic 400-meter hurdles final in Rio, becoming the first American woman to win gold in the race. Meanwhile, Charles won an Olympic basketball gold medal with Team USA in 2012 and in 2016.
Adams said that the pair were “shining ambassadors for Queens.”
“They have always conducted themselves with humility, grace and tremendous poise,” Adams said. “They have made southeast Queens, New York City and the entire country proud.”