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Wilma Rudolph An Olympic Medalist - Essay Example

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Struggling against seemingly impossible odds, Wilma Rudolph went on to become a legend. She became a house hold name for her victorious struggle and stood for the inner fight inside of all of us. Showing perseverance, and the ability to overcome, Wilma Rudolph exemplifies traits all people should hold dear.
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Wilma Rudolph An Olympic Medalist
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Wilma Rudolph "An Olympic Medalist" Struggling against seemingly impossible odds, Wilma Rudolph went on to become a legend. She became a house hold name for her victorious struggle and stood for the inner fight inside of all of us. Showing perseverance, and the ability to overcome, Wilma Rudolph exemplifies traits all people should hold dear.
By the age of 16, she already was partaking in the Olympic, and went on to win a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympics, partaking in the women's 4x4 relay team. Later in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Rudolph became the first American women to win three gold medals. She won two individual events, the 100 and the 200 meter dash, and also anchored the women's 4x4 team. Not only breaking records, Rudolph also broken gender barriers in several events. She won numerous awards, including
"United Press Athlete of the Year 1960
Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year 1960
James E. Sullivan Award for Good Sportsmanship 1961 *
The Babe Zaharias Award 1962
European Sportswriters' Sportsman of the Year *
Christopher Columbus Award for Most Outstanding International Sports Personality 1960*
The Penn Relays 1961 *
New York Athletic Club Track Meet *
The Millrose Games *
Black Sports Hall of Fame 1980
U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame 1983
Vitalis Cup for Sports Excellence 1983
Women's Sports Foundation Award 1984
* means the first women to win that award" (http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/rudo-wil.htm).
The struggles Wilma had to overcome began when she was four, and diagnosed with polio. The doctors told her mom there was no hope of Wilma ever being able to walk, but she helped Wilma fight through the disease. She massaged Wilma's legs every day and also taught her brothers and sisters how to do it. Her mother Blanche, "drove her 90 miles roundtrip to a Nashville hospital for therapy"( http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00016444.html).
By the age of 8 Wilma was able to walk with the help of a brace. Eventually, she was able to walk and even play basketball without the help of any additional support. She was so good, she was encouraged to start track, and in her senior year of high school she qualified for the Olympic Games, where she won a bronze medal. (http://gardenofpraise.com/ibdwilma.htm). She also thought that she had a greater calling, and after winning all those gold medals, she retired at the age of 22, and became of inspirational track coach. She also formed the Wilma Rudolph Foundation to help children learn about "discipline and hard work."( http://gardenofpraise.com/ibdwilma.htm).
Wilma died in 1994. She has been hospitalized many times after her diagnosis of brain cancer. Always a fighter, Wilma kept fighting the disease and eventually died in her house in Nashville, Tennessee. Leroy Walker, president of the U.S. Olympic Committee, said, "All of us recognize that this is obviously a tremendous loss. Wilma was still very much involved with a number of Olympic programs. It's a tragic loss. She was struck with an illness that, unfortunately, we can't do very much about."(http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/rudo-wil.htm).
Always an inspiration, the story of her struggle, and ultimate triumph over the hardships of her life should speak to us all, and offer us all hope that no matter how hard things become, we can always triumph over them with perseverance, hard work, and discipline.
Bibliography:
Wilma Rudolph biography
http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/rudo-wil.htm
Wilma Rudolph
http://gardenofpraise.com/ibdwilma.htm
ESPN Article "Rudolph ran and world went wild"
http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00016444.html Read More
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