Wilma Rudolph – Olympic Goldmedalist
Eleven seconds flat—that’s how long it took for Wilma Rudolph (1940–1994) to streak to victory in the 100-meter sprint and claim Olympic gold at the 1960 Summer Games in Rome.
Nicknamed “Skeeter,” the 20-year-old sprinter triumphed in the 200-meter sprint and the 4 x 100-meter relay as well, becoming the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at a single Olympics. On October 4, 1960, Clarksville honored Rudolph’s victories in the city’s first-ever integrated event because Rudolph refused to attend their previously planned segregated event.
Her victory was not something that came easy though. Rudolph was born at only 4.5 pounds and in childhood contracted many illnesses that almost killed her. At 4 years old she contracted Polio – a virus that gave a scare to many parents with young children and was considered an epidemic.
American sprinter Wilma Rudolph during competition at the 1960 Rome Olympics. (Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
She became paralyzed in her left leg. Her family did their own at-home treatments because it’s all they were able to do financially. They massaged her leg multiple times a day and after years of massaging her leg, the treatments had been a success; leading her on the path of becoming an Olympic athlete.
“When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.“ -Wilma Rudolph.
Wilma Rudolph (right) winning her semifinal of the women’s 200-metre race at the Summer Olympic Games in Rome, September 5, 1960. AP/Shutterstock.com
March 27, 2023
March 13, 2023
March 9, 2023
Right now, at this very minute, a wave of generosity is spreading across all of Colorado. People are coming together to collectively support the non-profits they care about, and YOU can join them! Support The People’s Station and community music and resources by giving to THE DROP at ColoradoGivesDay.org
Imagine the amount of good we can do together. That’s what Colorado Gives Day is all about.