Wilma Rudolph was born into a large family and struggled with health problems for the first several years of her life, including polio. Though she had trouble even walking, her love of sport and movement motivated her to rehabilitate her legs. Rudolph would blossom into athletic talent and after earning a scholarship to Tennessee State, qualified for the 1960 Olympic Games where she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field.
Throughout her life, Wilma Rudolph faced many barriers and yet she was able to overcome the odds to become an Olympic gold medalist. After hanging up her spikes, Wilma would teach second grade and coach track at her former high school. This work describes her life in detail, and includes a timeline of significant events in her life.
About the Author
Maureen M. Smith is a Professor at California State University, Sacramento in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science.
Table of Contents
A Legend is BornThe Early Days of Wilma Rudolph
Wima Removes the Leg Braces and Gets Involved in Athletics
Meeting Ed Temple and Running with the Tenessee State Tigerbelles
Running at the 1956 Olympic Games
Coming Home to Burt High School
Becoming a Tennessee State Tigerbelle
Willma Runs to History at the 1960 Olympic Games
Wilma's Post-Olympic Competitions
Wilma RudolphAn American Image
Hanging Up the Spikes: Wilma in Retirement
Wilma on WilmaWriting Her Own Story
The Legacy of WIlma RudolphFrom Evely Ashford to Marion Jones