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Lifetime's Remarkable Women campaign honors extraordinary women who inspire and empower others to make a difference in their communities and the world.
March 13: Dorothy "Dot" Richardson
Dorothy "Dot" Richardson, M.D. Hometown: Orlando, Florida Education: University of California Los Angeles (B.S.), Adelphi University (Masters) and University of Louisville Medical School Family: Husband Bob Pinto Number of Olympic gold medals: Two (from 1996 and 2000), as a member of the United States Olympic softball team
Dorothy G. Richardson, M.D., of Clermont, Florida, is currently Medical Director/Director of the National Training Center in Clermont, Florida, a state of the art facility for athletes of all levels, located on a campus with a fully staffed hospital (South Lake Hospital) and the University of Central Florida.
In addition to her medical career, Dr. Richardson is a well-known athlete in the sport of softball. A two-time Olympic Gold medalist in softball (1996 and 2000), she hit the game-winning home run that led to a Gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Games, the year softball debuted at the Olympics. That home run was the first in Olympic softball history. She was the oldest softball player in 1996 and also at the Sydney Games in 2000, when she turned 39. The U.S. team had dominated at the 1996 Games and went to Sydney with a 119-game winning streak. The team struggled to reach the final but triumphed over Japan in a dramatic 2-1 victory to win its second straight Olympic gold medal in softball.
Dot Richardson received her B.S. degree in Kinesiology and Pre-Med from the University of California Los Angeles, her Masters in Exercise Physiology/Health from Adelphi University, and her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Louisville Medical School. During her orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Southern California, she took a one-year leave of absence to compete at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. After completing her residency, she began a one-year fellowship at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic, in Los Angeles, where she worked with professional athletes from the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
In addition to her Olympic medals, Dr. Richardson was also a gold medalist in softball at the 1999, 1995, 1987 and 1979 Pan American Games; a Silver medalist at the 1983 Pan American Games; and a Gold medalist at the 1986 Women's World Championship. Her career on the U.S. national team began in 1979, when she was a 17-year-old starter for the team that won the Pan American Games. Twenty years later, she helped the U.S. team win another gold medal, in the 1999 Pan American games.
Richardson was appointed to the President's Council on Physical Fitness by President George W. Bush and served as the Council's Vice Chair from 2002 to 2008. The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports is an advisory committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about physical activity, fitness, and sports in America. Through its programs and partnerships with the public, private and non-profit sectors, the Council serves as a catalyst to promote health, physical activity, fitness, and enjoyment for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities through participation in physical activity and sports.
Among her awards are 1999 Hall of Fame Inductee, State of Florida; 1997 National Athlete Awards, Female Athlete of the Year; 1997 Babe Zaharias Award, Female Athlete of the Year; 1996 United States Olympic Committee Awards, Athlete of the Year; USA Softball's Most Valuable Player Award (1996, 1990, 1989, 1981). She has appeared regularly on national television (e.g. "Late Night with David Letterman," "The Today Show," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Entertainment Tonight," "CBS Morning" and "Good Morning America") and has been featured frequently in national magazines and newspapers such as Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Time, U.S. News & World Report and the New York Times.