The Tigerbelles: Olympic Legends from Tennessee State


Product Details

$28.95  $26.92
Lyons Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.0 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

For the past several years, Aime Alley Card has been researching, interviewing and writing about the Tennessee State Tigerbelles and those who supported them along their path. She conducted and reviewed hundreds of hours of interviews and read just as many books and articles, ranging from concurrent to retrospective. She is a nonfiction editor for Pangyrus literary magazine and a board member for the Women's National Book Association, Boston Chapter and serves on her town's cultural council supporting educational programs.


"This inspiring book chronicles the compelling journey of an underdog track team from Nashville, TN, as they raced over potholes on dusty dirt roads toward an eventual Olympic Gold victory. Aime Card shines a bright light on these extraordinary women, and I'm excited this story is being told."

--Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Actor and NYT Bestselling author of Where the Light Gets In

"The story of the Tigerbelles is one of the most inspiring tales in the history of athletics. Coach Ed Temple and an incredibly talented group of Olympians overcame barriers of race, class, and gender to become the most dominant track program in the world. Drawing on deep research and more than sixty years of interviews, Aime Card deftly brings this compelling story to life in The Tigerbelles. This is American history that must not be forgotten. Thanks to this fascinating, timely, and highly readable book, the story of remarkable women succeeding against the tallest odds will be enjoyed for generations to come."

--Andrew Maraniss, New York Times bestselling author of Inaugural Ballers: The True Story of the First U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team

"The Tigerbelles is not only for sports lovers, but for anyone who values triumph over adversity, untold historical stories, women supporting women, and the collective power of a team breaking the mold. Their story is heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure."

--Laura Munson, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, and founder of the acclaimed Haven Writing Retreats

"Through vivid storytelling, Aime Alley Card underscores the dogged determination it took for young, black, women track and field athletes to train in the 1950s Jim Crow South and triumph in Olympic competitions. Led by the indomitable Wilma Rudolph, Tennessee State's Tigerbelles pushed past societal obstacles to inspire successive generations of girls and women to excel in sports, even as they also confront tough challenges."

--Melissa Ludtke, award-winning journalist and plaintiff in Ludtke v. Kuhn (1978)

"Aime Card's new book about The Tigerbelles is outstanding. Ms. Card's account of such Tigerbelles as Wilma Rudolph and the Tigerbelles head coach, Ed Temple, reminds of how the late Tennessee State University president Walter S. Davis wanted things, A-plus, Deluxe Fashion."

--Dwight Lewis, Author of Mr. Temple's Tigerbelles, The Tennessean sportswriter, historian, and Tennessee State University alumni

"The Tigerbelles were historic trailblazers three times over-- breaking racial barriers, gender barriers, and setting records for their sport that still awe 50 years later. Aime Alley Card not only vividly captures this riveting and remarkable story itself, but also the sheer improbability of it all: gold medals over Jim Crow."

--Ted Reinstein, Author of Before Brooklyn: The Unsung Heroes Who Helped Break Baseball's Color Barrier

"Three cheers for the triumphant Tigerbelles--the fastest women in the world! Aime Card shines a light on the team's struggles against fierce racial- and gender-based discrimination. Tigerbelles is a must read about determined women who blazed a trail all the way to the Olympic podium."

--Jean Duffy, Author of Soccer Grannies: The South African Women Who Inspire the World

"There are so many reasons to love The Tigerbelles! This is a book for everyone--whether you love sports stories, feminist stories, racial justice stories, adventure stories, stories about overcoming adversity, or stories about friendship and family. The Tigerbelles are truly an inspiration for all, and Aime Alley Card has written a gripping and engaging work of narrative nonfiction that allows the great women of the Tigerbelles team to speak for themselves. Full of quotes from the incredible women athletes and drawing on a plethora of original source material, Card shares the legendary track team's story in a heartwarming and powerful book that will inspire everyone who reads it. The Tigerbelles were a triumph, and this wonderful book is, too."

--E.B. Bartels, Author of Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter

"The Tigerbelles is the story of how Coach Temple built the best women's track team in the country -- out of nothing."

-- "Track & Field News"