Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994) was 4.5 pounds when she was prematurely born. She was the 20th of 22 children from two marriages. At age four she came down with polio and had to wear a brace on her left leg and foot until she was nine. She wore a special orthopedic shoe until age 11. By the age of twelve she also had endured scarlet fever.
Despite all of these setbacks, Rudolph is most remembered for winning three gold medals in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and was considered the fastest woman on earth.