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Babe Zaharias Gone But Shouldn't Be Forgotten

Last Friday, Babe Didrikson Zaharias would have turned 100 years old. You may not know the name, but she was one of the most famous athletes in the country back in the 20's and 30's. She was a female Jim Thorpe, able to do just about anything she wanted to athletically, and do it well.

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There's been a new book published about Babe by a writer from the New York Times named Don Van Natta. He hits the highlights of her career in this article, but to really get a sense of her impact, read this column.

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Just think about how we would react in this day and age if LeBron James decided to take up golf and track & field at the same time he's trying to win an NBA championship. We'd all probably chuckle until he won the U.S. Open, right? Or medaled at the Olympic Games.

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Zaharias did all of those things. She didn't win any basketball championships, because a professional women's league was not even a twinkle in anyone's eye back then. She was an All-American, though, and she did medal at the Olympics and, in one of her most impressive feats, she outscored an entire team of 22 athletes in a track meet by herself.

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Babe did some incredible things in her career and she was taken way too soon. For just a moment, let's remember one of the first transcendent athletes in American history. 

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.