Biography of Famous Olympic Track and Field Athlete Mildred Didrikson Zaharias
About the biography of the famous olympic track and field athlete Mildred Didrikson Zaharias, history and information.
Mildred Didrikson Zaharias
She could stand at home plate and bounce a baseball off the left field wall on the fly. She mastered tennis, bowling, and basketball with incredible ease. She won more than 50 major golf tournaments, including 3 women's national opens.
Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias also was one of the finest track and field performers of all time. This Texan, born in Beaumont in 1914, was named the greatest woman athlete of the 1st half of the 20th century by the AP.
She gained her 1st national attention at an AAU meet in 1930 in Dallas by winning the baseball throw and the javelin. Her 2nd place in the long jump was good enough to top a world record.
In 1931 she continued her record-breaking performance in the Jersey City AAU meet. She threw a baseball 296' to set a world record and won the 80-m. hurdles and the long jump.
This turned out to be just a warm-up for the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. She was proficient in the javelin, shot put, high jump, long jump, and hurdles, but she decided to enter the last 3 events. Babe threw the javelin 143'4" for a new Olympic and world record. She whizzed over the 80-m. hurdles in 11.7, another Olympic and world record. And she did the same to the high jump but was disqualified for "diving" over the bar and finished in 2nd place.
The reigning figure in women's track and field for a decade, she later became a world champion golfer. In one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, Babe recovered from a cancer operation in 1953 and won the 1954 women's national open. She succumbed to the disease in 1956.
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