A New Hall Of Fame- For The People, By The People

Wilma Rudolph, Against all odds

Claim to Fame

Date of occurrence:

The Full Story

11.09.1960: At the 1960 Olympics, Wilma Rudolph managed to become the first female runner who win three Olympic gold medals.
When you are competing, when you are running, the track never asks you how you’ve been, what struggles you had to overcome to reach that level of performance, how many difficulties you had in your path before you started that competition.
You just run, with no strings attached. This can shortly be the story, of Wilma Rudolph an Afro-American track and field athlete who amazed the whole world with her performances, setting a new standard for what it takes to be a real Olympian, a titan when it comes to sport.


The year was 1960 and the competition was the Summer Olympics held in Rome. Wilma Rudolph was an young American athlete who managed to win the trials in her country and qualify for the Summer Olympics. She set her mind to participate in three competitions, the 100 meters and 200 meters events and the 4X100m team relay.
Wilma, participating at the Olympics for the USA! She, a girl for which faith didn’t offer very much, in fact all her life was just a struggle after struggle. But, all of that was behind now, the 100 meters final was seconds away before the start. Wilma took a place in her running lane and in just eleven seconds she won her first gold medal. The opposition was far behind! The girl form Tennessee who in her childhood suffered from Polio, pneumonia, scarlet fever, being partially paralyzed and being unable to walk until the age of eight had done. The Olympic gold has hers. But if you think that was her only gold at that Olympics, then you are wrong. The 200 meters final followed and the stadium was packed full of people, with the temperature reaching a staggering level.
Wilma was amazing! With the grace of a ballerina she swiftly surpassed all opposition and managed to set a new Olympic record at that event. The 80 thousand people who were in the stadium were astonished by her grace, her strength and her stamina. If only they new back then the struggles that this phenomenal athlete had to overcome to reach that level. Nether less, Wilma could not celebrate yet, because she had to prepare for another final, the one at 4X100 team relay.
Everybody wondered if she can maintain her lever of performance and win another medal. Just like in a fairy tale, Wilma with the help of her teammates managed to win the event and set a new world record. That was the third gold won by Wilma at that Olympic! So, she entered history, becoming the first female runner to win three gold medals at one Olympics. At the end of the race, Wilma showed her appreciation and paid a tribute to the former track and field star, Jesse Owens, a real militant for the Afro-American rights. After the Olympic was over, this amazing lady was known as the fastest woman on earth, The Tornado, the Black Gazelle or how like the French like to call her, the Black Pearl.
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