Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994) overcame severe physical handicaps to become one of America’s greatest athletes. As a young girl living in poverty, she was often sick.  At the age of six, she was fitted with a metal leg brace and told she might never walk again.  Through determination, dedication and great courage, Wilma Rudolph turned her life around to become the “fastest woman in the world” as well as the first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympics.  In her soft-spoken, calm and gracious manner, she taught us that we must not allow our circumstances to hinder our success.

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit.  The potential for greatness lives within each of us.” - Wilma Rudolph


(By Jonathan Sprout)

Good Dr. Coleman arrives out of breath,

Examines the girl, turns to Momma to say,

"Wilma's so sick, she may not walk again,

But we must have hope, anyway."

At twelve years she's healthy and finally walking.

Once and for all free at last of that brace.

All over town you can hear people talking,

"Wilma has run in a race! Sweet grace!"



She can't stop running.

After all she's been through

Can't stop running.

A golden dream come true.

She can't stop running, yeah, yeah, yes.

That's what Wilma loves to do.


Coach Temple trains her to work on her stride.

She runs for the Tennessee Tigerbelle Team.

Soon she is confident, glowing with pride,

Hard on the heels of a dream. It seems





Inside that stadium in Rome,

At the Olympics, far from home,

She calmly waits for the starting gun.

A flash of lightning down the track,

The others only see her back.

And so the gold is won.

Wilma loves to run!



© 2009 Kanukatunes (ASCAP) 


Wilma Rudolph - Wikipedia