Olympic Gold Medal-Winning TPD Officer Earns Spot in Hall of Fame
A Tuscaloosa Police officer who won an Olympic gold medal in 1984 will be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021, the department announced Wednesday morning.
Stephanie Taylor, a spokesperson for the Tuscaloosa Police Department, said the organization's selection committee voted to induct Officer Lillie Leatherwood and seven others into the 2021 class in a statewide ballot tabulated this week.
Leatherwood is a Tuscaloosa native born in 1964 who was a three-time NCAA track champion during her time at the University of Alabama. In 1984, she was a member of the U.S.'s 4x400 women's relay team at the Los Angeles Olympics and helped that team win the gold medal, becoming UA's first female Olympic gold medalist.
In 1988, she also won a silver medal on a relay team at the Summer Olympics in Seoul.
Several records she set at the University in 1987 still stand today.
Leatherwood and other Alabama greats including George Teague and Demarcus Ware will be inducted into the Hall of Hame at a ceremony held in the Birmingham Ballroom at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel on May 8, 2021.
“I am truly honored to receive this award along with the other inductees,” Leatherwood said in a press release.
Taylor said Officer Leatherwood joined the Tuscaloosa Police Department in 1993 and was assigned to the department’s Police Athletic League in 1995.
In 2013, she became director of TPD's athletic and educational program, which pairs at-risk youth with local police officers who help those young people focus on sports and other uplifting activities.
“Officer Leatherwood has been an inspiration and a mentor to so many kids in Tuscaloosa over the last 25 years,” TPD Chief Brent Blankley said. “Her induction into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame will be well-deserved.”