Google Doodle Spotlights Kitty O’Neil, Deaf Stuntwoman and Daredevil

Long before Kitty O’Neil was a legendary stunt artist and record-setting daredevil, she had to overcome losing her hearing as a baby. Rather than let her impairment be a barrier to success, she often referred to it as an asset, as it let her focus on her tasks while on her way to becoming “the world’s fastest woman.”

On Friday, Google dedicated its Doodle to O’Neil on her 77th birthday, highlighting the inspirational figure she became.

Born March 24, 1946, in Corpus Christi, Texas, O’Neil was 5 months old when she was simultaneously diagnosed with mumps, measles and smallpox. The conditions caused a high fever that led to her deafness. Her mother, a Cherokee homemaker, taught O’Neil speech and to lip-read rather than use sign language. (Her mother would eventually become a speech therapist and open a school for the hearing impaired.)

As a teenager, O’Neil began competing as a platform diver and was a favorite for the 1964 Olympics before a wrist injury and a bout of spinal meningitis derailed those ambitions.

“I got sick, so I had to start all over again, and I got bored,” she later told the Midco Sports Network. “I wanted to do something fast. Speed. Motorcycle. Water skiing. Boat. Anything.”

She raced drag boats, motorcycles and sports cars before embarking on a career as a stuntwoman that saw her leaping off buildings, being dangled out of high-rise windows and getting set on fire. Her stunt work can be seen in movies such as The Blues Brothers and Smokey and the Bandit II, as well as TV shows like The Bionic Woman and Baretta.

Along the way, she set records for women’s high-fall (twice), women’s speed on water and women’s fastest waterskiing. But she’s perhaps best known for setting the women’s land speed record. On Dec. 6, 1976, she drove a three-wheeled rocket-powered car called the Motivator to an average speed of 512.71 mph during two runs — shattering the previous record of 321 mph.

O’Neil retired from stunt work in 1982 after many of her colleagues were killed while performing. At the time, she held 22 speed records.

O’Neil died of pneumonia in 2018 at the age of 72.

Related Posts

Revolutionizing Conversations: A Comprehensive ManyChat Review

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital communication, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to engage with their audience. One such groundbreaking tool that has been making waves in…

Alibaba Marketplace: A Comprehensive Review for Shoppers

The global e-commerce landscape has witnessed explosive growth in recent years, and Alibaba stands out as one of the major players in this digital revolution. Founded in 1999…

Agoda Review: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Popular Travel Booking Platform

In the dynamic landscape of online travel booking platforms, Agoda stands out as a prominent player, offering a diverse range of accommodations and travel-related services. This comprehensive analysis… Review 2024: Your Ultimate Guide to Seamless Travel Planning

In the fast-paced world of online travel planning, stands out as a formidable force, catering to the diverse needs of millions of travelers globally. As we step…

Grammarly 2024 Review: Unveiling the Latest Features and Enhancements

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital communication, the importance of clear, concise, and error-free writing cannot be overstated. Whether you are a student, professional, or casual writer, having…

New Elementor Features: What You Need to Know

In the fast-paced world of web development, creating visually stunning and highly functional websites is essential. Thankfully, tools like Elementor have emerged to empower both beginners and experienced…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *