Wilma Rudolph

By: Julia Tighe

LIFE BREIF

Wilma Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940 in Clarksville, Tennessee. She was born two months early, and had a 50% chance of living. She lived a very good life with 21 siblings. In 1962 Wilma married Robert Eldridge. In 1994 she discovered she discovered she and a brain tumor, and passed away in her home a few months later.

BACKGROUND SYMBOLISM

I chose the track as my background because Wilma Rudolph runs track, and won three gold medals in the 1960 Olympic Games. "The Tigerbelles were the jubilant victors-and Rudolph had won her third gold medal" ( Biracree 82).
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PICK THREE- SIGNIFICANT FACTS

1. The first significant fact I would choose is that Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals. I find this interesting because she was the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympic Game.


2. When Wilma was younger she had polio. She couldn't use her left leg. She had to have a brace on at all times. I find amazing that she overcame it and became the fastest woman in the world.


3. Wilma Rudolph was picked on after she became the fastest woman in the world. Her relay team was so jealous of her because all the interviewers and all the people in the stands only came to see Wilma. They sabotaged her over and over. She still held her title, even though her teammates treated her terribly. " They barely struggled along. By the time i got the baton, one girl was actually forty yards ahead of me with only 110 yards to go" (Biracree 84).

ACCOMPLISHMENT

Wilma Rudolph was the fastest woman in the world. She was the first American woman in the world to win three gold medals in one single Olympic game. "Wilma has competed with the world and brought home three gold medals" (Biracree 88).
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STRUGGLE

Wilma was born prematurely. She was sick all the time growing up. In 1944 she contracted polio which partially paralyzed Wilma's left leg. She had to go into Nashville twice a week for treatments. She had to wear a brace and couldn't to go to school. When she ended 6th grade, she could finally walk again without her brace. "She felt as if she were embarking on a new beginning" (Biracree 39). Wilma also had gotten pregnant. She was just starting her carrer. She had the baby, and had her live with her sister until she was done for the season.

MENTOR

Coach Ed Temple was Wilma's mentor. He recruited her and taught her how to run. He was one of her favorite people. "Being discovered by Ed Temple was a major break for a young athlete" (Biracree 47).

AWARDS

Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals in a single Olymics. She was the first woman in America to do that. She was the fastest woman in the world.

INTRESTS

Tennessee State is where Wilma went to college. She got a degree so she could teach. She loved working with kids. She got a job at an elementary school in Clarksville, her home town. She also helped out with the track team.

SYMBOL

Spikes. I think a symbol for Wilma would be track spikes. At her last race, a little boy asked her for her autograph, and she gave him her signed spikes. "She took off her track shoes, signed her name on both of them, and gave them to the boy" (Biracree 93). Wilma always did stuff like this and is truly a nice person.

FRIEND OR FOE

I think Wilma would be my friend. She was a really nice and caring person. Both of us are in track.

MOST LIKE

I think that Wilma is most like my track coach, Coach Cook. He went to the Olymic trials, just like Wilma did, though he didn't make it. Coach is really fast, even though he's a distance runner and Wilma is short distance. Coach also really cares about us, even though he sometimes doesn't show it, and Wilma really cared about everyone around her.

ALTRUIST OR EGOTIST

Wilma is definitely an altruist. She is not selfish at all. She cares for everyone and is always in a happy mood.

POLIO- CHOICE ONE

Wilma contracted polio when she was only four years old. She had to go to treatments in Nashville twice every week. She couldn't go to kindergarten with all of her friends. It set her into a huge depression. "Being left behind had a terrible effect on me. I was so lonely and felt rejected" (Biracree 35).

AFTER- CHOICE TWO

Wilma had five children. She married Robert Eldridge. She also started an orginazation called the Women's Sports Foundation. Wilma worked as a track coach and an elementary school teacher.
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