Quotes of the Day for 23 June 2012 – Wilma Rudolph
Wilma Glodean Rudolph was born prematurely (4.5 pounds) at Clarksville, Tennessee on this day in 1940, the 20th of 22 siblings. At age four she contracted polio and walked only with a brace until age nine, it took another two years of therapy for her twisted leg before she could walk without orthopedic shoes. Four years later she won a bronze medal in the 4 x 100 meter relay at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. In 1960 she took the gold in the same event at Rome, also in the 100 meter and 400 meter events. The Italians called her La Gazzela Negra (The Black Gazelle) while the French dubbed her La Perle Noire (The Black Pearl), the whole world pegged her as the fastest woman on earth. Back in Clarksville her homecoming parade and banquet were the first fully-integrated municipal events in the town's history.
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I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened.
My doctors told me I would never walk again. My mother told me I would. I believed my mother.
Believe me, the reward is not so great without the struggle.
I loved the feeling of freedom in running, the fresh air, the feeling that the only person I'm competing with is me.
What do you do after you are world famous and nineteen or twenty and you have sat with prime ministers, kings and queens, the Pope? Do you go back home and take a job? What do you do to keep your sanity? You come back to the real world.
No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helps you.
All from Wilma Rudolph, 1940 - 1994
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