Wilma Rudolph

by Valerie from Glenbrook Middle School

"Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us." - Wilma Rudolph

Wilma Rudolph was one of America's famous Olympic athletes still known to this day for her perseverance. Her dream came true one day when she was 20 years old. She is a hero to me because she never gave up. She was determined to achieve her goal even when she was going through tough times when she was young.

Rudolph was born on June 23rd 1940. She was crippled when she was young. She had a disease named Polio, which is a viral infection. Because of her disease, Wilma couldn't participate in some of the same activities that other children did and she was unable to walk. The doctors said that she wouldn't be able to walk again, but her mother did everything that she could to help her daughter. Every week, the girl was taken to a hospital to get therapy. Being the 20th out of 22 children, her family was poor and they couldn't afford good medical care.

When Wilma was about six years old, she started to walk, but only with a leg brace for support. She was in a position where she could play basketball. So, she began playing more sports with her siblings. About three years later she didn't have to wear the special shoe anymore!! She was able to walk on the feet without support!!!

In high school Wilma played on the basketball team. The track team coach recognized how well she played this sport and encouraged her to try out for the track team.

Three years later, Rudolph was qualified for the 1960 Olympics! That year at the Olympics, she won 3 gold medals! The first one was for the 100-meter race and the second was for the 200-meter race. Right before competing for the last medal, she sprained her ankle while warming up! She ignored the pain and helped her team by winning the gold medal for the 400-meter relay!! She is a hero to me because she never gave up. She was determined to achieve her goal even when she was going through tough times.

Page created on 6/25/2009 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/25/2009 12:00:00 AM

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