Flash Back: Wilma Rudolph 1960

November 14, 1960

Like Nothing Else In Tennessee

or anywhere else is Olympic Sprinter Wilma Rudolph, home and happy and a feather in America‘s cap. Turn the page to meet Wilma and her remarkable coach, Ed Temple


In Nashville on Thursday, September 8, Charlie B. (for Betty) Temple got up at 6 o’clock. She dressed and fed Edwina, 4, and Bernard, 7, took the former to stay with Mrs. Woodruff and the latter to summer school and got to her husband’s job in the post office by 8. In Rome on September 8 her husband, women’s Olympic track coach Ed Temple, got his charges Martha, Lucinda, Barbara and Wilma fed, checked their warmups and rubdowns and whether they had their starting blocks, and watched them go out and win another gold medal. Martha Hudson, Barbara Jones, Lucinda Williams and Wilma Rudolph are four (the record-breaking relay team) of the eight Tennessee State Tigerbelles who among them about made up the U.S. women’s Olympic track team. They went to Rome undefeated and returned with a world record, three Olympic records and three gold medals—more gold medals, as Temple points out, than were won by 75 of the countries participating in the Games, including Great Britain, France, Spain, Argentina and Canada. Tennessee‘s effervescent Ralph Boston, of course, allows the university to claim a fourth, for his smash through Jesse Owens‘ broad-jump record. “Hey Ralph,” a porter shouted in Chicago, when Boston stopped there on his way home, “Jesse mad at you?” “No, man, he’s a cool cat!”



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