Wilma Rudolph

by Alison from Toronto

Wilma Rudolph
Wilma Rudolph

To many people, a hero is Superman or Spiderman. To me, a hero is an ordinary person, under extraordinary circumstances, with many accomplishments and many odds stacked against them. My hero is Wilma Rudolph.

Ordinary Person: Wilma Rudolph was an ordinary person because she was born into a family. She was the 20th out of 22 children. Wilma got married to Robert Eldridge in 1963. They had four children named Yolanda, Djuanna, Robert Jr. and Xurry. Wilma and Robert later divorced. Wilma went to school like any ordinary girl. Wilma attended an all black school called Burt High School. Wilma Rudolph loved playing sports like basketball.

Extraordinary Circumstances: Even though Wilma was diagnosed with Polio (a disease affecting your muscles) at a young age, she was determined to get better. Her mother was always there for her. With her mother's help and her determination to get better, Wilma was able to walk at the age of 12 without braces on her legs. Even through her many obstacles, especially those with her legs, Wilma was a determined athlete. She trained very hard. In 1960, Wilma became the world's fastest woman. Because of this, she won three gold medals.

Odds stacked against her: Wilma was the 20th out of 22 children. This made it hard for her to get the care she needed. Because of Wilma's skin colour, she wasn't allowed to participate in many sports and activities as a child. Even though Wilma had the responsibilities of being a parent, she was determined to participate in the Olympics only two years after giving birth to her first child.

Accomplishments: In 1956, Wilma went to the Olympics. There, she won a bronze medal in her 4x100m relay. Four years later at the next Olympic games, Wilma was given the title of the fastest woman in the world. She won three gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay. Wilma is known by many as a great achiever because she believed in herself.

Page created on 3/2/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/2/2010 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Wikipedia - For more about Wilma Rudolph