I was the first woman ever to win a gold medal for the Olympic 100 m for
women. I was just 16. I was inexperienced and young, next to my peers at this
run, but I won. How I got here is a funny story. I was running after a train and
my teacher saw me. He timed me and gave me my first training in sprinting. This
is how started my athlete career. After my success in the 1928 Olympics, I
continued to run in school and college tournaments, bringing home records. In
the outdoor nationals of 1929, the chairman of the national committee on
women’s athletics thought he was being complementary when he wrote “the
most sensational performances of the meet” from “the slim, smiling Chicago girl,
who runs like a man”. Hmmm, like a man? No way, I ran proudly like a girl!
Everything was going well. I loved what I was doing. But in 1931, I was in a plane
crash. After being in a coma, I was forced to drop my participation in the 1932
Olympics because I was in a wheelchair. I worked hard and managed to recover
from this near tragedy. It was a slow and painful way out, but my passion for
running helped me surpass all this and I tried for the 1936’s Olympics. It was
such a struggle, I had to work overtime, but I did it!