Olympians to Earn “Key to Queens” on Friday, October 1 at 10:15AM

(September 30, 2021 at 12pm)

QUEENS, NY – The 2021 Olympics may have been held more than 6,700 miles away in Tokyo, but a pair of Queens athletes, Dalilah Muhammad and Tina Charles, made sure the borough’s presence was felt as they earned gold medals at this year’s Summer Games. In recognition of their historic performances on the running track and the basketball court, respectively, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. will present each Olympic champion with a Key to Queens during a ceremony on the steps of Queens Borough Hall tomorrow, October 1 at 10:15am.

In addition to the presentation of the Keys to Queens, the ceremony, co-sponsored by City Council Member Adrienne Adams, will include remarks from Borough President Richards, Council Member Adams, Charles, Muhammad and other local elected officials representing the districts in which the Olympians were raised.

A native of Rochdale Village, a childhood member of the New York Novas youth running club and a graduate of Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside, Muhammad first earned Olympic glory in 2016 when she became the first American woman in history to win a gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles. She would go on to break the 16-year-old world record time in that event at the 2019 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, before breaking her own world record at the 2019 World Championships later that year.

At the 2021 Olympics, Muhammad would again beat the world record time in the 400-meter hurdles in an effort that earned her a silver medal, finishing behind fellow American Sydney McLaughlin. Muhammad won her second career gold medal later in the 2021 Games as part of Team USA’s victorious 4×400-meter relay team, alongside McLaughlin, Athing Mu and Allyson Felix.

The 2021 Olympics were the third Summer Games in the illustrious career of Tina Charles, a native of East Elmhurst and graduate of Christ the King High School in Middle Village. After winning gold as part of Team USA’s women’s basketball squad in the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, Charles returned in 2021 to help lead the team to its seventh straight Olympic gold medal.

The WNBA’s reigning scoring champion and an eight-time All-Star, Charles is one of the most decorated professional basketball players of her generation. An All-American at Christ the King and a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Connecticut, Charles won the WNBA Rookie of the Year award in 2010 before winning WNBA MVP honors in 2012. In 2018, she earned the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Human Spirit Award for her charity work off the court — Charles founded the Hopey’s Heart Foundation, which distributes automated external defibrillators to schools, and funded the construction of a 150-seat school in the West African nation of Mali.

Members of the media who wish to attend the October 1 ceremony are asked to RSVP via email at [email protected] or via phone at 718-286-2640.

WHAT:         Ceremony Honoring Queens Olympic Gold Medalists

WHEN:         Friday, October 1, 2021 at 10:15AM

WHERE:       Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens

WHO:            DONOVAN RICHARDS, Queens Borough President

                        DALILAH MUHAMMAD, Olympic Gold Medalist

                        TINA CHARLES, Olympic Gold Medalist

                        Elected officials, community leaders and student athletes

Follow the Office of the Queens Borough President via @QnsBPRichards on Twitter and @QueensBPRichards on Facebook and Instagram