Known for: A Rio Linda High School graduate, Sheila Hudson was a track pioneer in the women's triple jump event. She was a five-time USA Indoor champion who competed in the event at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Background: Hudson began competing in track at age 10 in all-comers meets. Her family moved to South Korea for two years, and she didn't compete again until her freshman year of high school. She was the 1985 state champion as a senior and won six NCAA titles at the University of California, Berkeley. Hudson was the best in the United States for nearly 10 years when the women's triple jump was first admitted into the Olympic Games in 1996. At 5-foot-4 with superb technique, Hudson was a hometown favorite of fans at the 2000 Trials in Sacramento, placing second at 45-81/2. Only Nicole Gamble qualified for the Sydney Games for the United States.
A highlight: Hudson was the only American to reach the finals in the first Olympic triple jump at the 1996 Olympic Games, where she placed 10th. Her American record of 47-31/2 stood for eight years.
In History's Spotlight profiles of Sacramento newsmakers were published originally in 2007 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of The Sacramento Bee. They were written by Anthony Sorci. Look for them every Sunday in Sac History Happenings.