Mamamia's Extraordinary Stories series deep dives into the kind of tales you will keep thinking about long after you've read them. From unexplained mysteries to moments that have changed history, Extraordinary Stories will take you down the rabbit hole and make you never want to leave.
The year was 1928.
Betty Robinson, a 16-year-old student at the Thornton Township High School, was running for the train.
It was bitterly cold and Charles Price, a science teacher at the Illinois high school, was certain that Robinson wasn't going to make it.
She had simply left it too late.
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But when Price got onto the train, he was surprised to see Robinson sit down right next to him.
It was a moment that kick-started Betty Robinson's path to becoming the fastest woman in the world.
Betty Robinson knew she was a fast runner. But she had never considered the possibility of running competitively.
"I had no idea that women even ran then. I grew up a hick," she later told the Los Angeles Times.
Science teacher Charles Price, who also coached Thornton Township High School's boys' track team, encouraged Robinson to train with the team. And before long, Robinson was taking on some of the fastest female sprinters in the United States.
After being invited to join the Illinois Athletic Women's Club and winning a number of regional events, Robinson, then just 16, travelled to Newark, New Jersey for the Olympic trials.
Remarkably, despite being discovered just months earlier, Robinson was selected to compete in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. It was the very first time that women were permitted to race in track and field events at the Olympic Games.
During her time in Amsterdam, Robinson became the very first woman to win gold in the 100m sprint. At the time, Robinson had been a runner for just five months.