Wilma Rudolph Research Paper

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Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born prematurely at 4.5 pounds (2.0 kg), the 20th of 22 siblings from two marriages;[4][3] her father Ed was a railway porter and her mother Blanche a maid.[9] Rudolph contracted infantile paralysis (caused by the polio virus) at age four. She recovered, but wore a brace on her left leg and foot (which had become twisted as a result) until she was nine. She was required to wear an orthopaedic shoe for support of her foot for another two years. Her family traveled regularly from Clarksville, Tennessee, to Meharry Hospital (now Nashville General Hospital at Meharry) in Nashville, Tennessee for treatments for her twisted leg. In addition, by the time she was twelve years old she had also survived bouts of polio and scarlet fever. Wilma Rudolph at the finish line during 50-yard dash at track meet in Madison Square Garden, 1961 In 1952, 12-year-old Rudolph finally achieved her dream of shedding her handicap and becoming like other children. Her older sister was on a basketball team, and Wilma wanted to follow her sister's…show more content…
As the temperature climbed toward 110 °F (43 °C), 80,000 spectators jammed the Stadio Olimpico. Rudolph ran the 100-meter dash in an impressive 11 seconds flat. However the time was not credited as a world record, because it was wind-aided. She also won the 200-meter dash in 23.2 seconds, a new Olympic record. After these wins, she was being hailed throughout the world as "the fastest woman in history". Finally, on September 11, 1960, she combined with Tennessee State teammates Martha Hudson, Lucinda Williams and Barbara Jones to win the 400-meter relay in 44.5 seconds, setting a world record.[9] Rudolph had a special, personal reason to hope for victory—to pay tribute to Jesse Owens, the celebrated American athlete who had been her inspiration, also the star of the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in Berlin,

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