The Who2 Blog

Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Happy 100th Birthday!

The amazing Babe Didrikson Zaharias was born 100 years ago today in Port Arthur, Texas. 

Port Arthur is also the hometown of Janis Joplin, but in our book, Babe should get the edge as the town’s favorite daughter.  She was just plain amazing, as Don Van Natta, Jr. points out:

Perhaps Didrikson’s most spectacular athletic achievement occurred at the amateur track and field championships in Evanston, Ill., on July 16, 1932. She was the lone representative of Employers Casualty Insurance Company of Dallas, competing against company teams of 12, 15, even 22 women. When Didrikson was introduced, she ran onto the field by herself, her arms waving wildly. The crowd gasped at the audacity of this “one-woman track team” (a phrase Didrikson coined).

Over the course of three hours on a sweltering track, she sprinted from event to event, with barely enough time to catch her breath. She finished first in five events: broad jump, shot-put, javelin, 80-meter hurdles and the baseball throw. She tied for first in a sixth event, the high jump. In qualifying for three Olympic events, she amassed a total of 30 team points for Employers Casualty. The second-place team, the Illinois Women’s Athletic Club, scored 22 points — with 22 athletes.

That’s besides her being an Olympic gold medal winner, a member of the Women’s Golf Hall of Fame, etc, etc.  See our Babe Zaharias biography >>

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