She was the first American woman to get three gold medals in one Olympics - the Rome Olympics of 1960. She was an unlikely running champion to say the least. She was born prematurely at 4-1/2 lbs and had to survive two bouts of polio and Scarlett fever by the time she was 12.* She also won a bronze star running in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics at the age of 16. You wonder how her deformed leg ever got straightened out (see picture). she was the fastest women sprinter of her day and won all sorts of medals at various track meets. She set an Olympic record in the 100 m dash
|Wilma Rudolph during a 50 m dash at Madison |
Square Garden in 1961
|Wilma Rudolph wins the 100 m dash in the|
Rome Olympics, 1960
She was named the top athlete for the 20th century by Sports Illustrated in the year 2000. She even had a high school in --- GERMANY --- named for her (Wilma Rudolph Oberschule). For other honors see the reference.