Wilma Glodean Rudolph was an American track and field sprinter who competed in the 100 and 200 meters dash. Rudolph was acclaimed the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and competed in the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games.
|Full name||Wilma Glodean Rudolph|
The Black Gazelle
The Black Pearl
|Born||June 23, 1940 |
Saint Bethlehem, Tennessee, United States
|Died||November 12, 1994 (aged 54) |
Brentwood, Tennessee, United States
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||130 lb (59 kg)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|Club||TSU Tigerbelles, Nashville|
Wilma Glodean Rudolph (June 23, 1940 – November 12, 1994) was an American track and field sprinter who competed in the 100 and 200 meters dash. Rudolph was acclaimed the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and competed in the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games.
At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games. A track and field champion, she elevated women's track to a major presence in the United States. As a member of the black community, she is also regarded as a civil rights and women's rights pioneer. Along with other 1960 Olympic athletes such as Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali), Oscar Robertson, and Rafer Johnson, Rudolph became an international star due to the first world-wide television coverage of the Olympics that year.
The upstart sprinter emerged from the 1960 Rome Olympics as "The Tornado, the fastest woman on earth". The Italians nicknamed her La Gazzella Nera ("The Black Gazelle"); to the French she was La Perle Noire ("The Black Pearl").