Have You Heard Of The First Female Gold Medalist From Iowa?
Doreen Wilber is a local Legend in many areas of Iowa, I was shocked to learn about all the amazing things she had accomplished in her life, and how little I actually knew about her.
Now that I know her name, I am very excited to share this athlete's story!
Wilber learned archery later in her life, but she didn't let that hold her back. She actually only even learned archery because her husband Paul Wilber was a local mechanic shop owner, and received a bow and set of arrows as payment for an auto repair bill. That's not even the most shocking part of the story.
She took to archery very quickly, and made a name for herself without any professional coaching or commercial sponsorship, which is a feat all within itself! Even without the help she quickly made it to the top of amateur archery.
According to Jefferson Matters, she was incredibly disciplined and charismatic.
Daily she committed to the discipline, focus, and practice of her sport. A great competitor with outstanding sportsmanship, she would take archery supplies to international opponents that had trouble getting them… even her fiercest competitors.
Here's where things get crazy... On this day (September 10th) At age 42, Doreen went to the the1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. She reportedly set two World records and was the first Iowa woman to bring home an Olympic Gold Medal.
There is also a statue in Jefferson Iowa of this legendary Gold medalist.
A life-size bronze statue of Wilber by Illinois sculptor Jeff Adams, is the centerpiece of the plaza, built northeast of the Greene County Community Center at the corner of Lincolnway and Vine Streets.
From 1963 to 1973 she never lost a tournament at the state level. Did you know of Doreen Wilber iconic story?