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.
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About the Author
MAUREEN M. SMITH is a Professor at California State University, Sacramento in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science.
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