If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you my three favorite things in life are sports, the UK, and things that happen every four years. Well, what do you know?!? The OLYMPICS are coming!!
We’re 10 days away from the event four years in the making, and I cannot let this gathering of nations pass without celebrating in some way.
The pageantry! The sportsmanship! The possible Kate Middleton sightings! I’m too excited to sleep!
To do honor to this historic show of physical and mental prowess (overkill? should I stop?), I’ve decided to share my Top 10 Olympic Moments in History. This is not an exhaustive list, but each day we’ll take a look into the stories that gave me goosebumps, made me cry, inspired me, or made me fist pump into the air and yell USA! USA! USA! As an Olympic veteran (meaning, I attended them once when I was 12), I hope to share with you my special insight in the build up to the Opening Ceremonies, July 27 at The Olympic Stadium (did you know they are doing beach volleyball at the Horse Guards Parade? this is going to be the craziest Olympics ever!!)
Number 10 on our list, Wilma Rudolph and the 1960 Rome Olympics:
During her time as an American track athlete, Wilma Rudolph became known as the world’s fastest woman. Which, if you watch the videos, is a title she certainly earned. Look how far ahead of the field she is in the video above. It’s just crazy!
But growing up, Rudolph had to overcome many obstacles before her feet could fly. According to Wikipedia, she was born premature, and at the age of four, contracted infantile paralysis. She had to wear specials shoes, went in for treatments on her “twisted leg,” and suffered from the scarlet fever, whooping-cough, chicken pox and the measles, all before she became a teenager. However, she went on to play basketball and run track in high school, and, once rid of her previous ailments, went on to compete in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics.
In 1960, Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track in one Olympics. Quite the accomplishment. And, in context of her time, not only did she represent a national movement for the advancement of women’s sports, but also those striving for advancements in civil rights.
Rudolph was taken from this world too soon after a bout with brain cancer in 1994. But her legacy can’t be forgotten. So remember Wilma Rudolph when you’re striving to make it through any day that seems too tough. This woman had every card stacked against her, and every door before her closed. And she ran right through them.
“Believe me, the reward is not so great without the struggle.” – Wilma Rudolph
Editor’s Note: Check in tomorrow for Number 9 on our list, Abebe Bikila and the shoeless marathon…