Wilma Glodean Rudolph

by Cheyenne from Colorado

<a href=>Wilma receiving her trophy</a>
Wilma receiving her trophy

To be able to overcome polio is still unbelievable to my mind. Wilma is recognized in the book, The Hero’s Trail, written by T.A. Barron. Wilma is so spectacular to me because she wanted and wanted to run after the polio disease that she actually defeated it.

Wilma Rudolph was born in a huge family. She was the 20th child (out of 22 children) born in the Rudolph family. She was born as a premature baby weighing only four and a half pounds. She was born on June 23, 1940. Her mother gave birth to Wilma in Clarksville, Tennessee. Wilma was struck with disease after disease including: measles, mumps, double pneumonia, and lots of other terrible diseases. Wilma recovered from any disease that she got until one day she was struck with the crippling disease call polio.

Wilma G. Rudolph lived from June 23, 1940 through to November 13, 1994. Wilma had to have braces on her legs and it would be very hard for her to run. A few months after she was announced paralyzed she decided to become an athlete. One day after the paralysis she was in church and stripped off her braces and walked down the church isle. In junior high she followed her sister’s footsteps and joined the basketball team. After Wilma graduated from high school she got a full scholarship to Tennessee State College.

<a href=>Wilma Rudolph just finishing a race</a>
Wilma Rudolph just finishing a race

In T.A. Barron’s book The Hero’s Trail Wilma is recognized as Hero Within. A hero within is a person who conquers something very difficult to conquer. For instance Wilma conquered a disease called polio. Perseverance, faith, and hope are the qualities that Wilma has. Wilma thought that she could conquer it and did. She never gave up and always had faith.

After learning about Wilma I became inspired. I still cannot believe that she overcame a disease that barely anybody has overcome and won a bunch of trophies of a thing that the doctor said she would never do again… run. I have a connection to Wilma. When I was three years old my doctor said that I had a severe peanut allergy. My doctor said that I would never be able to eat peanuts again. That was in 1999. Now in 2007 the doctor was proved wrong, I outgrew my so severe allergy. Of course, polio is much more severe than an allergy, but they have the same concept. I had a lot of fun researching Wilma Glodean Rudolph.

Page created on 6/22/2007 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/22/2007 12:00:00 AM

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Wilma Glodean Rudolph - More information about Wilma


Barron, Thomas. The Hero's Trail. New York, New York: Puffin Books, 2002. 134

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