After A Plane Crash And A Coma She Won A Gold Medal

Grace Higgins | January 4th, 2019

Betty Robinson is probably one of those amazing stories that you just wonder how in the world it was possible. A decorated Olympic runner that in 1931 was actually pronounced dead following a plane crash. She actually died and then came back to win a gold medal.

In 1928 she was one of the first women to compete in field and track events at the Olympics in Amsterdam. In fact, she won a gold medal for team United States of America, until then running had just been a hobby but once that first Olympic win happened then Robinson really started to take things seriously. Training schedules were put in place and she dedicated herself to becoming a better runner. She planned to win more medals in 1932 and then if things did not work out, well then she would at least be ready to coach future athletes.

Everything went wrong with a plane ride in 1931. Her cousin, a licensed pilot, advised her to come along and ride in the clouds. Nobody really knows what happened, but the plane stalled just outside Chicago and they plunged to the ground. The man who discovered her body, simply thought she was dead and actually took her to the undertaker!

Her leg was twisted and broken in three places, and her arm was completely shattered. Luckily the undertaker was more observant and noticed she was breathing, quickly taking her to the hospital. Even so, the doctors advised she would never walk again and definitely her running career was over.

But luckily she had a very motivated family that kept her moving, her brother in law made her get up every day and walk around the block. Slowing the walking became a jog and then she even started to run again, but there was one problem: Robinson could not crouch. And to start a race, you needed to crouch down. So she set her sights on the medley team if she was not the first runner she would not need to crouch.

Berlin 1936, 5 years later, she was ready and made it with her team. And the best possible outcome happened, Robinson and her team were able to win the 4 x 100m relay race, securing a gold medal.

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