- Kids Nonfiction
- Unbeatable Betty: Betty Robinson, the First Female Olympic Track & Field Gold Medalist
Unbeatable Betty: Betty Robinson, the First Female Olympic Track & Field Gold Medalist
At only sixteen years old, Betty Robinson became the first female gold medalist in track and field in the 1928 Olympics and an overnight sensation. She was set for gold again and had her eyes on the 1932 Olympics.
Her plans changed forever when a horrible plane crash left her in a wheelchair, with one leg shorter than the other. But Betty didn't let that stop her. In less than five years, she relearned how to stand, to walk, and finally to run again and try to taste gold once more in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
Perfect for Women's History units, as well as for reports on lesser-known sports heroes, Unbeatable Betty includes an author’s note narrating Betty’s later life after her win, as well as a bibliography.
Robinson's story of overcoming adversity is one that just begs for a longer treatment, but for now, this picture book biography will have to do. Stone does a great job at recreating the styles and fashions of the time, although I would have liked to see more photographs. Some of these can be found at https://www.bettyrobinson.org/ The after note and sources help give a bigger picture of women track athletes for whom Robinson paved the way.
Use this book, along with Poletti and Yee's The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon and Chaffee's Her Fearless Run (about Kathryn Switzer), to inspire the young runners in your life to sign up for a one miler or try a program like Girls on the Run.