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Helen Stephens

The July 10 1936 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained an article on Helen Stephens, an American athlete.

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The article isn’t exactly flattering (and contains an unfortunate typo of “bed” instead of “bet”). The woman she was compared to, Babe Didrickson, was a gold-medal winner at the 1932 Olympics and became a successful professional golfer and to pitch in two major-league baseball spring training games.

Ms. Stephens, who was 18 at the time, went on to compete for the United States at the 1936 Olympic Games, winning the 100 metre dash and anchoring the women’s 4 x 100 metre relay team. She had to endure having to pass a “gender test” after being accused of not actually being a woman. After her race, she met Adolf Hitler, who apparently pinched her bottom.

She later owned a women’s semi-professional basketball team, and passed away in 1994.

One reply on “Helen Stephens”

[…] Four years later, she won American championships in three events and was offered citizenship just prior to the 1932 Olympics. However, she chose to become a citizen of Poland, and won the gold medal in the 100 meter dash. In 1936, she finished second to Helen Stephens (who appeared in this blog here). […]

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