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Temple’s Tigerbelles: An Illustrated History Of The Women Who Outran the World is a celebration of a unique rags to riches story unlike any other.
The people who helped make the story, or dynasty, come true are a group of female track athletes known as the Tigerbelles and their male coach who started his 44-year tenure with $300 and a station wagon.
They went on to bring home 23 Olympic Medals – 13 Gold, six Silver and four Bronze – while representing the United States in Olympic competitions from Melbourne to Rome to Mexico City to Los Angeles to Montreal and beyond.
In between, the young ladies with nicknames such as Skeeter, Red, Tweety, the Lady with the Golden Shoes, Pee Wee, BJ and Lu, had to hit the fields along the highway to use the restroom when they traveled because the color of their skin happened to be black.
As their coach, Ed Temple, once said, it was “mind boggling” how the Tigerbelles did what they did. “It was extraordinary, ” Coach Temple added, especially during a time when women’s sports in the United States was almost nonexistent. What delighted the coach even more is the fact that of the 40 Olympians he coached, 40 earned at least one or more academic degrees.