*Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994): the "fastest woman in the world" at the 1960 Olympics. Wilma Rudolph was the first American woman runner to win three gold medals in the Olympic Games. Her performance was all the more remarkable in light of the fact that she had double pneumonia and scarlet fever as a young child and could not walk without braces until age 11. Known for her dignity and grace, Wilma Rudolph died of brain cancer in 1994.

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