As a child she wore leg braces and underwent extensive physical therapy to help her walk properly, who would have thought she’d grow up to be the first American woman to win three Olympic gold medals in track and field. A Tennessee native, Rudolph faced great discrimination and segregation having to attend all Black schools, and being subjected to unfair treatment despite her overwhelming talent.
Rudolph qualified for her first Olympic games in 1956 while she was still in high school at the age of 16. She placed bronze in the sprint relay event. Determined to return and do even better, she trained hard and qualified to attend the next Olympic games in 1960. This time around, Rudolph won the gold medal for both the 100 and 200 meter sprints.
After achieving what seemed impossible to her as a child, Rudolph retired and became a teacher and track coach. What a woman, we honor you Wilma Rudolph!
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