The power of dreamsPublished 8:36am Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Many amazing African-American women have contributed to the struggle for equality and should be recognized for it. They had wisdom beyond their years and a fierce determination. Wilma Rudolph, Track and Field Olympian, knew a lot about challenges and the power of dreams.
As a result of polio which she contracted at four years-of-age, Rudolph wore a brace on her left leg and foot for five years. Her leg became twisted from wearing the brace and she was forced to wear an orthopedic shoe for support of her foot for another two years.
She endured many years of painful treatments on her left leg and years of physical therapy but eventually overcame her physical disabilities.
Rudolph was determined to be a basketball player like her older sister, and nothing would keep her from doing just that. In fact, not only did she play basketball, but during her off-season time she ran track and field.
During a high school track and field competition Rudolph was discovered by a college scout and the rest is literally history.
Her awards for athleticism include United Press Athlete of the Year 1960 and Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year for 1960 and 1961. She was voted into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1973 and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1974. She was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983, honored with the National Sports Award in 1993, and inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994.
Rudolph reminds us that we are more as people than our outward appearance and physical limitations would lead some to believe.
We are spirit, mind and souls that are capable of astonishing things if we only allow them to soar beyond limitations.