Wilma Rudolph


After spending a childhood battling her poor health, with dedication and patience, Wilma Rudolph became a phenomenal track and field athlete. With her first Olympic appearance in 1956, she managed to win bronze in the sprint relay event, but in 1960, Rudolph returned with much more fervor than before. For both the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash, Rudolph set new world records with her race times, which she immediately broke in the final round, seizing the highest place on the pedestal. Her outstanding performance granted her three gold medals, making her the first American woman to achieve that in a single Olympic Games.

"Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose ... If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday." – Wilma Rudolph