Wilma Rudolph Facts for Kids

Wilma Rudolph was an amazing sprinter, who despite facing a lot of adversity throughout her life, managed to become one of the greatest athletes in history. But who is Wilma Rudolph? Here are some fun and interesting facts about this amazing athlete.

1. Wilma Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940, in Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee.

2. She was the 20th of 22 siblings.

3. Rudolph was born prematurely and weighed only 4.5 pounds. She was also diagnosed with polio, which left her with a paralyzed leg at the age of 5.

4. Despite her condition, she refused to give up on her dreams of becoming an athlete.

5. When she was 9 years old, her mother took her to a nearby hospital that was offering treatment for polio. It was there that she met a physical therapist named Ed Temple.

6. Temple was impressed with Rudolph’s determination and talent, and he invited her to join his track club called the Tigerbelles.

7. At the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Wilma Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field events.

8. Her three gold medals were in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and the 4×100 meters relay.

9. Rudolph’s 100-meter gold medal was particularly impressive, since it made her the fastest woman in the world.

10. After retiring from athletics, Rudolph became a teacher and worked with children with disabilities.

11. In 1994, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

12. Rudolph also helped establish a scholarship fund to help young athletes achieve their dreams.

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