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Wilma Rudolph

Wilma Glodean Rudolph (born June 23, 1940 in Bethlehem, Tennessee[?]; died November 12, 1994 in Brentwood, Tennessee) was an American athlete, and triple Olympic champion.

Rudolph was born in Clarksville, Tennessee and at early age, it was discovered that she, the 20th of 22 children, had polio. Her mother took her to a hospital for blacks 50 miles from their home twice a week, and at age 12, she could walk normally again and she decided to become an athlete. She played for the basketball team of her junior high school, when she was spotted by the track and field coach.

In 1956, she went to the Olympic Games for the first time and won a bronze medal as a member of the relay team. Four years later, in Rome, she won three Olympic titles; in the 100 m, 200 m and the 4 x 100 m relay.

After her athletic career, Rudolph worked as a teacher, track coach, and sports commentator. She married Robert Eldridge in 1963 and had four children: Yolanda (1958), Djuanna (1964), Robert Jr. (1965) and Xurry (1971). They later divorced.

At age 54, Wilma Rudolph died in her home of brain cancer.

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