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Elizabeth (Betty) Robinson (Schwartz)

Photo of Elizabeth (Betty) Robinson (Schwartz)

Inducted: 1977, athlete

Born: August 23, 1911 - Riverdale, Illinois
Deceased: May 17, 1999

100 yd. - 11.20
100 m - 12.00
220 yd. - 25.10

Elizabeth "Betty" Robinson was just 16 years old when she became the first woman to win a track event in an Olympic Games, capturing the100 meters at the 1928 Games. She also had a silver medal in 1928 as a member of the 4x100m relay and won a gold medal on the 4x100m relay at the 1936 Olympics. While still in high school, she tied the world record of 12.2 for 100 meters in 1927 and then broke that record with a time of 12.0 prior to the Olympic Games. A graduate of Northwestern University and a member of the powerful Illinois Women's A.C., Robinson was a two-time National AAU champion in 1929, winning both the 50 and 100 meters. In 1931, she set a world record at 200m/220 yards in the same race, with a winning time of 25.1. She missed a few years of competition in the early 1930s because of injuries suffered in a 1931 plane crash. However, she returned to competition as a member of the Olympic relay team in 1936. The first woman to receive a varsity "N" from Northwestern, she later kept active in the sport as a timekeeper.

Records Held
World Record: 100 m - 12.00 (June 2, 1928 - )
American Record: 100 yd. - 11.20 (July 27, 1929 - )
American Record: 220 yd. - 25.10 (June 20, 1931 - )

1928 Olympics: 100 m (1st)
1928 Olympics: 400 m relay (2nd)
1936 Olympics: 400 m relay (1st)
1929 AAU: 50 m (1st)
1929 AAU: 100 m (1st)

high school: Thornton Township (Harvey, Illinois), 1929
undergraduate: Northwestern (Evanston, Illinois)

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