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August 23, 1911

Elizabeth “Betty” Robinson, American athlete and winner of the first Olympic 100 m for women is born.

Elizabeth “Betty” Robinson at age 16 was the inaugural Olympic champion in 100 m dash.  With the American 4×100 meters relay team, Robinson added a silver medal to her record.

In 1931, Robinson was involved in a plane crash, and was severely injured. A man who discovered her in a coma in the wreckage wrongly thought she was dead, put her in his trunk and drove her to an undertaker, where his mistake was discovered. She awoke from the coma seven months later, although it was another six months before she could get out of a wheelchair, and two years before she could walk normally again. Meanwhile, she missed the 1932 Summer Olympics in her home country.

Still unable to kneel for a normal 100 m start, Robinson was a part of the US relay team at the 1936 Summer Olympics. The US team was running behind the heavily favored Germans, but the Germans dropped the baton, allowing Robinson (who handed off the baton to Helen Stephens) to win her second Olympic gold medal

 

Elizabeth “Betty” Robinson – American Athlete – Associated Links:

 

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Link to Profile Credit: Elizabeth “Betty” Robinson

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