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     English Wordplay ~ Listen and Enjoy

    WILMA RUDOLPH    1940 - 1994

My life purpose was to go through adversity, strengthen my resolve, 
strengthen my courage going against what seemed impenetrable
walls, and to use that as a basis for instilling the same virtues 
in thousands, even millions of people around me
Wilma Rudolph

In the 1960 Rome Olympics, she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games, despite running on a sprained ankle.

The powerful sprinter emerged from the 1960 Rome Olympics as "The Tornado," the fastest woman on earth.

PETER: Being a very sickly child and crippled by polio, you must have been very sure of yourself when you chose to come down into such a situation.
RUDOLPH: I came down to show what could be done.  I had to overcome physical, mental, emotional, and societal belief systems that other people tried to impress upon me, and I would find the strength within me not only to pull myself up by the bootstraps, but also to be a guiding light for siblings, friends, relatives, and the nation.
PETER: We have been told that incarnating souls leave part of their energy at Home, and bring part of it down with them.
RUDOLPH: We do not bring down with us all of the wisdom and experiences that we have gone through in other lifetimes.  There is part of us that remains outside of our human self.  We can connect with it if we go searching for it in this lifetime.  We have a connection to all of those other parts of ourselves, but it is an unconscious one in our physical mind.
PETER: You died of brain cancer quite young, aged 54. Was that illness a further pre-planned experience, or was it just that you had finished your work here and it was a way out?
RUDOLPH: It was time to transition.  By then I had become superfluous to the movement I had started.  Had I remained, people would have relied upon me instead of following their own momentum.  I withdrew at that time so that they had to take the initiative of the forward movement.

Toni comments: Wilma had a dynamic energy, but with a modesty, almost shyness.  It was like, "Yeah, I'm this big dynamo, but anybody can be; don't make a whole lot out of it.  It was just my purpose to be there and to be the signpost for others."


Talking with Twentieth Century Women
The foregoing are excerpts from Talking with Twentieth Century Women.
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