Wilma Rudolph Adds To Legacy

Wilma Rudolph earned three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics, instantly catapulting her into stardom and athletic lore. AP Photo

On this day in 1961, Wilma Rudolph set the world record for the indoor 60-yard dash with a blistering time of 6.9 seconds. Fresh off her dominant performance at the 1960 Rome Olympics in which she won three gold medals, the fastest woman in the world helped attract a sellout crowd of more than 13,000 to the Los Angeles Invitational. The record was one just one of her accomplishments in 1961 that earned her the Associated Press’ Woman Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row. Rudolph retired in 1962 at the age of 22. She is widely considered one of the greatest sprinters of all time. Because yards are no longer used in international track and field, this race is now considered the predecessor to the 55-meter dash. That race is not recognized by the IAFF. Irina Privalova of Russia set the record for the 60-meter dash in 1993 with a time of 6.92 seconds.