Betty Robinson

Betty Robinson (actually Elizabeth M. Robinson, married Schwartz; born August 23, 1911 in Riverdale, Illinois, † 18 May 1999 Denver, Colorado) was an American hurdler and the first Olympic champion over 100 meters.


Robinson took at the age of 17 years participated in her first 100 - meter race and was beaten only by the American record holder. In the next race they already equaled the world record, but their time was not officially recognized.

At the Olympic Games in 1928, the first with women's competitions in athletics, Robinson won the gold medal and equaled the world record again. In the 4 x 100 - meter relay team, she won the silver medal.

1931 Robinson was critically injured in a plane crash. After she woke up from a coma for several weeks, her athletic career seemed to have ended, as it was obliged to rely on a wheelchair because of various broken bones and took two years until she could go back to normal.

Although she still could not bend her knees properly, which is why she was denied a single start, Robinson was nominated for the 4 x 100 meters relay at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. After the heavily favored Germans had lost the last change of the rod, the Americans won. Robinson was for the second time became Olympic champion.

Shortly after, she stepped back and served for many years as Sportfunktionärin. She died at the age of 87 years to cancer and Alzheimer's.