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Our first inductees into the Ms. Fit Hall of Fame are two real trailblazers in the worlds of running and women’s sports.
In the 1960s Summer Olympic in Rome, track athlete Wilma Rudolph became the first American women to win three gold medals in a single Olympics, earning her the nickname, “The Hurricane.” A high school basketball star, Rudolph discovered running as a way to keep busy between basketball seasons. By the 1960s she was widely regarded as the fastest woman in history. After her Olympics triumph, Rudolph returned home to Clarksville, Tennessee where, at the athlete’s request, her homecoming festivities were the first fully integrated events in the city’s history. Although she retired from athletics in 1962, Rudolph was subsequently inducted into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame, The National Track and Field Hall of Fame, and the Olympics Hall of Fame. And now, the Ms.Fit Hall of Fame!
Katherine Switzer registered for the men-only 1967 Boston Marathon under the gender-neutral K. V. Switzer. When, mid-race, it was discovered that she was a woman, a race official unsuccessfully tried to forcibly remove her from the course. Switzer’s boyfriend, Tom Miller, who was running with her, shoved him aside and sent him flying. The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines. She finished the race in approximately 4 hours 20 minutes. Switzer was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011 for creating a social revolution by empowering women around the world through running. Since 1967, she has worked to improve running opportunities for women throughout the world.
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