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Wilma Rudolph


1940 Born in Bethlehem, Tennessee
1944 Contracts polio, which leaves her left leg weakened
1945 Fitted with a steel brace on her left leg
1947 Enters Cobb Elementary School in Clarksville, Tennessee
1951 After years of secretly practicing walking without it, Rudolph is able to walk without the brace
1953 Joins the track and field team and basketball teams at Burt High School
1954 Meets coach Ed Temple when her team plays in the East Tennessee Conference Championship
1956 Wins bronze medal in the 4 X 100-meter relay at the Melbourne Olympics
1958 Enters Tennessee State University
1960 Sets a world record in the 200-meter race at the Olympic Trials
1960 Becomes first American woman to win three gold medals in the Olympics when she wins the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the 4 X 100-meter relay at the Olympic Games in Rome
1963 Retires from competition at the peak of her career, and becomes a second-grade teacher at Cobb Elementary School
1967-93 Works with young people in the Job Corps; serves as a consultant to university track teams; is widely honored for her accomplishments
1977 Publishes her autobiography, titled Wilma
1994 Dies of brain cancer on November 12, in Nashville, Tennessee

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Famous Sports StarsTrack and FieldWilma Rudolph Biography - Early Obstacles, Not Just Walking, But Running, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments, Wins Bronze At Melbourne Olympics - SELECTED WRITINGS BY RUDOLPH: