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High Performers from History: Babe Didrickson Zaharias

June 21, 2021 in

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There is much to learn about high performance by looking to history. Babe Didrickson Zaharias is a high performer from history and a colorful character known for her many athletic achievements in a variety of sports including basketball, baseball, track and field (in which she won gold at the Olympics), and golf. She is known as the first female golf celebrity — she competed against men six decades before Annika Sorenstam did. She won tournament after tournament both in the U.S. and the British Ladies Amateur – 17 straight wins, an achievement that has never been repeated. She absolutely dominated after she turned pro in 1947 and was a founder of the Ladies PGA and served as its president from 1952 to 1955.

In this episode, Belle Curve discusses Don Van Natta Jr’s book Wonder Girl: The Magnificant Sporting Life of Babe Didrickson Zaharias.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Babe’s early life, family, and how she sought respect through sports.
  • Babe’s controversial personality (hint: her teammates struggled with her) and how a lack of humility often shows up in high achievers.
  • Babe’s flaws and her many strengths.
  • What it was like to be a woman athlete during this time in history and her ups and downs with admiration and rejection.
  • How she handled her battle with cancer during a time people did not openly discuss it.
  • Takeaways we can learn from her life.

Resources Mentioned:

Belle Curve Podcast is sponsored by HigherEchelon, Inc. and produced and co-hosted by HigherEchelon Director of Marketing & Communications Rachel Bryars.