Wilma Rudolph’s Olympic Glory
Wilma Glodean Rudolph rose from disability to Olympic glory. She became the first African American women to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games. No one thought of Rudolph to ever be able to walk again because of her difficult disease when she was a child. However, she not only walked, but ran in the Olympics. She matured into a leader. Wilma Rudolph is a hero and inspiration to other runners and victims of her disease.
Wilma Rudolph was born in Bethlehem, Tennessee in 1940. According to Amy Ruth, she was the twentieth of twenty children and was born with polio as a young child. Wilma Rudolph showed the world that she could not only could overcome ...view middle of the document...
At the age of sixteen, just a sophomore in highschool, Rudolph won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia.
In 1960, she set a world record for the 200 meter dash during the Olympic trials. During the same Olympics, Rudolph made history by winning three gold medals. Then in Rome, she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in the 100 meter dash, the 200 meter dash, and the 400 meter relay with a sprained ankle. She was honored once she returned to Tennessee with her hometown’s first racially integrated parade.
“Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose… If you can pick up after a crush defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday,” (Wilma Rudolph, 1964). Rudolph never had a hard time believing in herself. Rudolph’s Mother, Blanche and Ed Rudolph always encouraged Wilma Rudolph that she will someday be able to walk again.
She received a Sullivan Award, which is the top amateur athlete in the United States. She was also awarded Subsequent honors including, the Black Sports Hall of Fame, the U.S Olympic Hall of Fame, the U.S. athlete in the United States, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She became the first person to be awarded President Clinton’s National Sports Award in 1993.
Wilma Rudolph later became a teacher and a high school track coach. Even after her international fame, Rudolph was still not a wealthy person. Wilma Rudolph soon married a fellow Tennessee student, only to divorce him months later. During the summer of 1963, she married her high school boyfriend, Robert Eldridge, which she already had a daughter, Yolanda Eldridge, born in 1958. She had...