Wilma Rudolph

Sport: Track and Field
Years: 1956-1962
Wilma Rudolph was another female pioneer athlete of the Civil Rights era. Despite being born premature and contracting polio as a child, Rudolph would go on to become the the fastest woman on earth and rack up three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. Rudolph said she that Jesse Owens was her inspiration to become such a successful sprinter. If actions speak a lot louder than words, then Wilma was worth her weight in gold (Olympic gold, of course) for a lot of African American girls who had an interest in sports.