Wilma Rudolph: Famous Olympic Runner

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Abigail Beinke
April 28, 2015
Research Paper Wilma Rudolph was a famous Olympic runner. She won many medals and awards and overcame a severe illness early in her life called polio. Her father pushed her to start running and she loved it. It made her famous. Wilma Rudolph was born prematurely on June 23, 1940 in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee. She only weighed four-and-a-half pounds at birth. She was the twentieth of twenty-two children. Her parents were Ed and Blanche Rudolph. Ed Rudolph worked as a porter on railroad cars. Blanche Rudolph was a housemaid and cleaned houses six days a week. They were very poor. Wilma Rudolph's family did not have electricity or indoor plumbing. She had no nice toys or didn’t have to do chores
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She won gold medals in the 100 meter dash, the 200 meter dash and the 4x100 relay. She won a gold medal in the 100-meter dash by setting a world record of 11.3 seconds. "No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helps you"(Source 6). Her track coach helped her to become a great runner. Wilma Rudolph won the 200 meter dash by running a time of 24.0 seconds. This was a new Olympic record at that time. The 4x100 meter relay was won in a time of 44.5 seconds. The 4x100 meter relay team set a world record in the semi-finals by running a time of 44.4 seconds. Wilma Rudolph won the 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash by more than 3 yards over the next closest runner. Wilma Rudolph was widely considered the world's fastest women. She won many gold medals in the Olympics. She was the first African American women to win three gold medals in a single Olympics. Wilma won a gold medal in the 100-meter dash. She received The Associated Press Women's Athlete of the Year Award both in 1960 and 1961. Wilma Rudolph wrote an autobiography called "Wilma" in 1978. It later was turned into a…show more content…
At the age of twenty two she retired. Wilma Rudoph did not go to the 1964 Olympics because she was not sure if she could win gold medals again. She did not want to appear slower than in 1960. She became a track coach at her siblings' former elementary school. Wilma Rudolph was an assistant director for a youth foundation in Chicago during the 1960s. In this job, she developed girls track and field teams. Wilma Rudolph married and had four children. She raised them on her own after two divorces. In 1991, Wilma Rudolph served as an ambassador to the European celebration of the dismantling of the Berlin
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