Wilma Rudolph

Expository Piece Wilma Rudolph Wilma Rudolph is indeed one of the most inspirational people in America. She seemed to help set a new era of going after your dreams and conquering goals. She had a lot of success but it was not easy getting there for Rudolph. There were many hardships she had to face as well. She overcame every obstacle because she had a lot of determination; this inspiration is why she is an important person that should be remembered from history. Wilma was born in Clarksville, Tennessee on June 23rd, 1940. She was African- American so at this time segregation was still prevalent.
She was born prematurely and didn’t get the medical attention that she deserved due to being in a white hospital. This led to one illness after another without medicine; measles, mumps, scarlet fever, chicken pox and double pneumonia. The hardship that altered her whole childhood and rest of her life was being diagnosed with polio after her left leg had become weak and deformed. She was told that there was no cure and she would never walk again. This news was devastating to her and her poor family. Wilma was the 20th child out of 22 children and they were living through the Great Depression.
Wilma’s parents Ed and Blanche Rudolph were very hardworking people the support there large family and the whole family helped out with taking care of Wilma; their young sister in need of a more normal childhood.. It was at age 12 when she finally got her big metal leg brace off and started learning to walk. It was like a miracle. It was in junior high school that Wilma followed in her sister Yolanda’s footsteps and joined the basketball team. Finally three years later the coach put her in her first game. Her sophomore year she became the starting guard.

It was at a state basketball tournament that the track coach of the University of Tennessee Tigerbells, Ed Temple saw the potential in Wilma. HE invited her to Tennessee State that summer for a summer camp because Burt High School (where Wilma attended) was a poor school that did not have enough money to fund a track team. After high school she received a full ride scholarship to Tennessee State. In 1956 Wilma went to her first Olympic games where she won a brinze medal in the 4×4 relay. In 1960 she went to the Olympics in Rome and became the first US women to win three gold medals in a single Olympics.
Not only was she a black woman that had overcome polio but she was in the Olympics setting records! She won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and ran the anchor on the 400-meter relay team. Her victories in sport represented the ideals of America; ideals that celebrated the accomplishments of African-American women in a democratic nation. She helped to show the concept that if you work hard, you will be successful, regardless of your skin color, gender or economic standing. Wilma Rudolph was an example of someone changing and benefitting the future America using determination to inspire.

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