Fire on the Track: hot story!

Amy Miller

3.5 Stars

November 9, 2017

When famed runner Betty Robinson ran in the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, she was running in what was only her fourth-ever track meet.

That she crossed the finish line and won the gold medal, gaining the title of the fastest woman in the world, still leaves me astonished. In those days--not so long ago, actually--women weren't expected to be athletes, but to take cooking classes and prepare to be wives and mothers. Unfortunately, Betty was involved in a plane accident where she nearly lost her life.

This book, while not particularly well-written, tells several interesting stories of female runners. While Betty was recovering from the horrific accident, other pioneering runners in Track and Field were given the chance to shine in the Los Angeles Games, building on Betty's pioneering role as the first female Olympic champion in the sport.

These women athletes became more visible and more accepted, as stars like Babe Didrikson and Stella Walsh showed the world what women could do. And, astoundingly, through grit and countless hours of training, Betty earned her way onto the 1936 Olympic team, again locking her sights on gold as she and her American teammates went up against the German favorites in Hitler's Berlin.

Great stories, and a super reminder to women of just how far they've come.