Scholastic
Source
Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.


A Woman of Firsts

Olympic gold medalist Tenley Albright

By Maya Finkelstein | March 15 , 2007
U.S. Olympic Figure Skating gold medalist, Tenley Albright smiles as she is honored at the 2006 State Farm U.S. Figure Championships at the Savvis Center in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/NewsCom)
U.S. Olympic Figure Skating gold medalist, Tenley Albright smiles as she is honored at the 2006 State Farm U.S. Figure Championships at the Savvis Center in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/NewsCom)

Tenley Albright was not only the first American woman to win the Olympic gold medal in figure skating, but was also one of the very few women of her generation to become a surgeon. She went on to have an exciting career and became a role model for both girls and boys interested in athletics or medicine.

Albright was born July 18, 1935 in Newton Centre, Massachusetts. At age 9 she became interested in skating and started taking lessons.

“I used to go to a pond near to where I lived with my friend Betty Cooley. We liked to try and jump over the cracks in the ice. That was where I started," Albright said. "And then, my mother once took me to see a skating show in Boston. I thought it looked like so much fun. I said, ‘I’d like to try that!’”

At age 11, she suffered a major setback when she was diagnosed with non-paralytic polio and could not move her neck, back and right leg. She was in the hospital for three months and was very lucky not to have permanent damage. After recovery, she slowly took up skating again.

“I remember after I recovered from polio just hanging on to the barrier on the edge of the rink. I hadn’t skated for such a long time and my legs were weak," she said.

Albright didn't give up and in the 1956 Olympics, at age 20, she won the gold medal for figure skating. Albright then entered Harvard Medical School only months later. There she studied surgery and was one of only five women in her class! Women rarely went into surgery in those days.

deke
World Champion and Olympic gold medalist Tenley Albright. (Photo: Zuma Press/NewsCom)

“People kept asking us, ‘Don’t you realize that you are taking the place of some well-deserving young man? What are you doing here?’ I didn’t mind very much because I knew that I was doing the right thing.”

Albright pushed on, despite facing some difficulties as a woman in the medical field.

“I think it goes with my liking to do my best, whether in skating: jump a little higher, skate a little faster; or something as important as surgery—whether I can make the patient heal faster and have less pain.”

Albright now speaks enthusiastically about all of today’s opportunities in the profession of surgery, compared to when she entered the field. There is even better technology, including delicate microsurgical instruments for smaller incisions, allowing patients to recover more quickly. Plus, there are many different surgical specialties, which all include women.

CELEBRATE WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH

For more on the achievements and contributions of women in the United States, check out the Scholastic Kids Press Corps' Women's History Month Special Report.

About the Author

Maya Finkelstein is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Guided Reading Short Reads & Lecturas Cortas Bundle Grade 4 (Levels M–T)

    Guided Reading Short Reads & Lecturas Cortas Bundle Grade 4 (Levels M–T)

    Buy both and save!

    The all-new Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas brings the same high-quality nonfiction of the original Guided Reading Short Reads to both Spanish and English-speaking learners. Short informational texts in numerous text types will build content area knowledge and domain-specific vocabulary in both English and Spanish!


    Title list:
    • 589039 Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Grade 4 — Levels M-T (480 Spanish cards)
    • 581200 Guided Reading Short Reads Grade 4 — Levels M-T (480 English cards)

    $1,346.00 You save: 36%
    Instructional Program | Grade 4
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Guided Reading Short Reads & Lecturas Cortas Bundle Grade 4 (Levels M–T)
    Grade 4 $1,346.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Women's Adventures in Science

    Women's Adventures in Science

    SET FEATURES:

    •     Biographies on contemporary figures
    •     Includes information on groundbreaking scientific discoveries
    •     Table of Contents
    •     Timeline
    •     Glossary
    •     Further Resources
    •     Index
    •     Published in conjunction with Joseph Henry Press

    •  
      REVIEWS:


       
      6/1/06 VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
      The slender books in this series examine the lives and research of contemporary female scientists. These women had diverse childhoods, and some had to overcome personal and societal prejudices about their career choices. All, however, have a fervent wish to better understand the world in which they live. Their stories are told through pictures and interviews with colleagues and family members. The existing ten titles in the series describe advancements in astronomy, climatology, robotics, and sociology, among other sciences.


       
      Mimi Koehl grew up more interested in carpentry and geometry than in "girl Stuff." She wanted to know more about sea anemones, particularly how they survive the turbulent surf on rocky beaches. Her inquiries and experiments led to discoveries in a new field, biomechanics, in which scientists examine how form determines movement and function in the animal kingdom. A background in art has allowed her to create models fo various body shapes and appendages to test her theories. Once scoffed at, her research has gained worldwide notoriety. She still enjoys hypothesizing solutions to new puzzles and accepts the element of danger that comes with working in the wild.


       
          Adriana Ocampo grew up in Argentina, fascinated by the stars and planets. When her father moved the family to the Untied States, she joined an explorers club at her high school, which in turn led to a field trip to NASA. Her enthusiasm for satellite design and interest in geology eventually led to a job. First helping to design a Mars rover, she then got involved in the search for a crater created by a massive asteroid collision that evidently caused mass extinctions in the age of dinosaurs. She now examines photos of distant planets taken by "fly-by" space probes and is always planning new geological expeditions.


       
          This series should spark the curiosity of any reader, but given the recent suggestion from an academic that women do not posses the analytical faculty that men do, the series might encourage female readers to set their sights high.

       

      $220.50 You save: 30%
      Hardcover Book Collection | Grades 7-9
      Add To Cart
      Educators Only
    Women's Adventures in Science
    Grades 7-9 $220.50
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com