Betty Survives Plane Crash

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SHE WILL RACE AGAIN--Miss Elizabeth Robinson
of Chicago, Olympic sprint champion who was injured in
an airplane crash last June, feared that her athletic days  
were over.  However, the recuperative powers of youth
and splendid care have had their innings, and now she is
assured that she will be in a position to start training in   
time for participation in next year's Olympic games.        

                                                       (Acme Photo)1931

   Excerpts from the Daily Telegram - May 31, 1999

     After Amsterdam, Betty Robinson's career continued amid drama.  In 1931 she was in a biplane being flown by her cousin when it crashed near Chicago. After being dragged from the wreckage with severe concussion, a crushed arm and a broken leg, Betty Robinson was given slim chance of survival, let alone of walking again.

     She was unconscious for seven weeks. Pins were inserted into her leg, which after months encased in a hip-to-heel cast ended up an inch shorter than the other.  "If I had not been in such good physical condition", she said, "I would not have lived through it."

     Betty Robinson missed the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932, but she was back in training in time for the Berlin Games of 1936.  Although unable to bend her knee for a crouching start in the 100 meters, she was competitive enough to be included to run third leg in the American 4 x 100 meters relay team.

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August 16, 2000
Updated: December 19, 2013

Information provided by the Riverdale Historical Society