Wilma Rudolph Achievements

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Wilma Rudolph once said, “The triumph cannot be had without the struggle.” In the 1960s Wilma Rudolph became known as one of the fastest African American track and field athletes. In fact many people referred to her as the “Jesse Owens” of women’s track and field (Litsky). It was not easy for her to get there, but she overcame many obstacles to achieve her goal of being an athlete.
Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940 in Bethlehem, Tennessee and died at the age of 54 on November 12, 1994 in Brentwood Tennessee (Litsky and Naden, 9). Growing up Rudolph was a very sickly child (Litsky and Naden, 5). She contracted the measles, mumps, scarlet fever, chicken pox, and pneumonia (Engel). After overcoming these sicknesses her family soon
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Following that year she was also awarded the Babe Didrikson Zaharias award which is given to any individual athlete who shows courage, perseverance, grace and strength in sports achievement^. She motivated and inspired many generations after her because she achieved so much despite her racial and health challenges. After her track career she went back to college to earn a degree in education in 1963. Her first job was teaching second grade and coaching basketball and later on she coached a track team at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. The rest of her retirement was spent as a Goodwill ambassador, administrative assistant, an executive for a hospital and the establishment of the “Wilma Rudolph foundation” for teaching and motivating disadvantaged kids.
As an African American woman Wilma Rudolph faced many health and unfair racial issues on the path to achieving her dream and goal of being a track athlete. She overcame these issues obstacles through determination and hard work. Her achievements encouraged other people who may have had a challenging life or unfair advantage to keep trying and fulfil their
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