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Betty Robinson

Elizabeth Robinson (August 23, 1911 - May 18, 1999) was an American athlete, winner of the first Olympic 100 m for women.

Robinson ran her first 100 m race on March 30, 1928, aged 17. She finished second only to the American record holder. At her next race, she equalled the World Record, though her time was not recognised.

At the Amsterdam Olympics, her fourth 100 m competition, Robinson reached the final and won, equalling the World Record. She was the inaugural Olympic champion in the event, since athletics for women had not been on the programme before, and its inclusion was in fact still heavily disputed among officials. With the American relay team, Robinson added a silver medal to her record.

In 1931, Robinson was involved in a plane crash, and was severly injured. She was fortunate to recover, but missed the 1932 Olympics in her home country.

Still unable to kneel for a normal 100 m start, Robinson was a part of the US relay team at the 1936 Summer Olympics. Running behind the heavily favoured Germans when Robinson turned over the baton to Helen Stephens, the Germans dropped the baton, allowing Robinson to win her second Olympic title.

Retiring after the Berlin Olympics, Betty Robinson remained involved in athletics as an official. She died aged 87, suffering from cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

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