Sometimes it takes years to really grasp what has happened to your life.
The feeling of accomplishment welled up inside of me, three Olympic gold medals. I knew that was something nobody could ever take away from me, ever.
No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helps you.
I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened.
Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.
Down South, there was the old 'ladies-don't-do-such-things' way of thinking. You couldn't be a lady and a good athlete at the same time.
When I ran, I felt like a butterfly that was free.
I loved the feeling of freedom in running, the fresh air, the feeling that the only person I'm competing with is me.
After the scarlet fever and the whooping cough, I remember I started to get mad about it all... I went through the stage of asking myself, 'Wilma, what is this existence all about? Is it about being sick all the time? It can't be.' So I started getting angry about things, fighting back in a new way with a vengeance.
I was six years old before I realized that there was something wrong with me... But I did have this crooked left leg, and my left foot was turned inward.
You become world famous, and you sit with kings and queens, and then your first job is just a job. You can't go back to living the way you did before because you've been taken out of one setting and shown the other. That becomes a struggle and makes you struggle.
There were good jobs, but they were never what I wanted to do. Somehow, people always thought of Wilma Rudolph as a threat.
Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.
I have spent a lifetime trying to share what it has meant to be a woman first in the world of sports so that other young women have a chance to reach their dreams.
In college, I was an education major and qualified for several jobs. But the fame that came with the Olympic medals was too threatening to many people.
I believe in me more than anything in this world.
When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.
They would say, 'If you run around too much as a girl, you'll never be able to have children.' The running was supposed to be too much strain for your body, and your body would never be the same again.
The triumph can't be had without the struggle.