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Wilma Glodean Rudolph

American athlete Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940. At the 1960 Olympics in Rome, she won gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

Rudolph was born in Clarksville, Tennessee and at early age, it was discovered that she, the 20th of 22 children, had polio. Her mother took her to a hospital for blacks 50 miles from their home twice a week, and at age 12, she could walk normally again and she decided to become an athlete. She was playing for the basketball team of her junior high school, when she was spotted by the track and field coach. While attending Burt High School, Rudolph became a basketball star, setting state records for scoring and leading her team to the state championship. She later became a track star, competing at the 1956 Summer Olympics at the age of 16 where she won a bronze medal in the 4x4 relay. After high school, Rudolph was granted a full scholarship to Tennessee State University where she ultimately received her Bachelor's degree in education in 1963. Four years later, in Rome, she won three Olympic titles; in the 100 m, 200 m and the 4 x 100 m relay.

After her athletic career, Rudolph worked as a teacher, track coach, and sports commentator.

At age 54, Wilma Rudolph died in her home in Brentwood, Tennessee of brain cancer. In 2004, the United States Postal Service issued a 23 cent postage stamp featuring Rudolph.



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