Helen Stephens was always a woman on the move – from teenaged Olympic track and field champion to becoming the first woman owner/manager of an all-woman semiprofessional ball team to activism as a sports advocate.
Stephens drew the public eye as a brilliant champion in the 1936 Olympics, when the Fulton, Missouri farm girl ran the 100 meters in 11.5 seconds – setting a world record that stood for 24 years. “The Fulton Flash” won a second gold as anchor leg in the 400 meter relay. As an amateur she set world, Olympic, American and Canadian records in running, broad jump and discuss.
Stephens started “The Helen Stephens Olympic Co-Eds,” in 1938 – the first woman to create, own and manage a semiprofessional basketball team, which remained active until 1952. Stephens was actively involved in national and state senior games, inspiring teenagers and senior citizens alike to exercise and work for good health. She is honored in the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, the US Track and Field Hall of Fame and the Women’s Sports Foundation Hall of Fame.