Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wilma Rudolph- An inspiration

One night Ammu wanted a bed time story, and i cudnt recollect any, so shared Wilma rudolph's story with her...When i used to take trainings for school kids, this was one story i used to tell them...
She has got hooked to her since ...

Its not just about a Black kid making it big...To me its about the struggles of an underprivileged mother, 21 other siblings, and the sheer will power of a small girl..

This is Wilma's story
Wilma Rudolph was born into a large family -- she was the 20th of 22 children! Her parents, Ed and Blanche Rudolph, were honest, hardworking people, but were very poor. Mr. Rudolph worked as a railroad porter and handyman. Mrs. Rudolph did cooking, laundry and housecleaning for wealthy white families.

Wilma was born prematurely and weighed only 4.5 pounds. Again, because of racial segregation, she and her mother were not permitted to be cared for at the local hospital. It was for whites only. There was only one black doctor in Clarksville, and the Rudolph's budget was tight, so Wilma's mother spent the next several years nursing Wilma through one illness after another: measles, mumps, scarlet fever, chicken pox and double pneumonia. But, she had to be taken to the doctor when it was discovered that her left leg and foot were becoming weak and deformed. She was told she had polio, a crippling disease that had no cure. The doctor told Mrs. Rudolph that Wilma would never walk. But Mrs. Rudolph would not give up on Wilma. She found out that she could be treated at Meharry Hospital, the black medical college of Fisk University in Nashville. Even though it was 50 miles away, Wilma's mother took her there twice a week for two years, until she was able to walk with the aid of a metal leg brace. Then the doctors taught Mrs. Rudolph how to do the physical therapy exercises at home. All of her brothers and sisters helped too, and they did everything to encourage her to be strong and work hard at getting well. Finally, by age 12, she could walk normally, without the crutches, brace, or corrective shoes. It was then that she decided to become an athlete.

On September 7th, 1960, in Rome, Wilma became the first American woman to win 3 gold medals in the Olympics. She won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and ran the anchor on the 400-meter relay team.

Thank you Wilma, for being so inspirational...


RizLee said...

a real life inspirational story.. She triumphed over adverse circumstances obtaining success.. we have to learn lot from her life..


trueblue said...

mighty CT.. nice of you to inspire the next generation with a story like this :)

I am listening to Michael Jackson's new on TV.. was it a case of too much success ?? It is sad!