Wilma Rudolph

by Jazmin from Omaha, Nebraska

A hero is someone you look up to, someone you idolize. Wilma Rudolph is my hero because she was the one who ran track and broke the world record for females. Wilma Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940 in Clarksville, Tennessee. She had 22 children in her family. She was born with polio and suffered from serious bouts of pneumonia and scarlet fever. Then she couldn’t walk for a while and her mom had to call the doctor and he told Wilma’s mother that Wilma had been stricken with polio and had to wear a brace. One day they went to church and Wilma thought that she could walk so she took off the brace and she could walk again with no problem and she didn’t need the brace anymore so her mom and Wilma sent it back to the hospital.

A year later the brace was off and she tried out for the basketball team but didn’t make it and the basketball coach told Wilma to try for the track team because of her speed. So Wilma went for the track team and was the fastest person on the team. Then they went to the other schools and raced in every event. She won every event.

After high school she was granted a full scholarship to Tennessee State University where she ultimately received her Bachelor’s degree in education in 1963. At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome she won three Olympic events; in the 100m, 200m, and the 4x 100 m relay. In 1961, Rudolph received the James E. Sullivan award as the top amateur athlete in the United States.

After her athletic career Rudolph worked as a teacher, track coach, and a sports commentator. She married Robert Eldridge in 1963 and had four children' Yolanda (1958), Djuanna (1964), Robert Jr (1965), Xurry (1971). They Divorced.

At age 54, Wilma Rudolph died in her home in Brentwood, Tennessee of brain cancer.

Page created on 8/30/2008 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 8/30/2008 12:00:00 AM

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