Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994) was a African-American athlete, born into a poor family of 22 children. As a kid she suffered from polio, which disabled her so much that she had to use braces to walk until she was 11 years old.
Much like the movie character Forrest Gump, she then managed not only to walk but also to run without the braces. She became such an excellent runner that she eventually earned a spot on the 1956 Olympics team where she won a bronze medal for the 4 × 100-metre relay race. Four years later, she would completely dominate the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy and earn 3 gold medals, while becoming world famous in the process. She retired at age 22.
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Photo Credits / Sources:
By New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. (NYPL Digital) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons