Manage episode 332366439 series 2885711
BlackFacts.com presents the black fact of the day for June 23.
Wilma Rudolph was born.
She was an American sprinter, the first American woman to win three track-and-field gold medals in a single Olympics.
Physically disabled for much of her early life, Rudolph wore a leg brace until she was twelve years old.
Because there was little medical care available to African American residents of Clarksville in the 1940s, Rudolph's parents sought treatment for her at the historically black Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, about 50 miles away.
She attended Tennessee State University from 1957 to 1961. At age 16 she competed in the 1956 Olympic Games at Melbourne, Australia, winning a bronze medal in the 4 × 100-metre relay race.
At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy, Rudolph competed in three events on a cinder track in Rome's Stadio Olimpico: the 100- and 200-meter sprints, as well as the 4 × 100-meter relays. She won a gold medal in each of these events.
These games launched Rudolph into the public spotlight and the media cast her as America's athletic "leading lady" and a "queen," with praises of her athletic accomplishments.
Her strikingly fluid style made Rudolph a particular favorite with spectators and journalists.
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