Babe Didrikson Zaharias became known early in her life for her athletic prowess. As a high school student playing basketball on an amateur team, she was named an All-American three years in a row. In 1932 she won five of eight events she had entered in the women's national track and field championships of the American Athletic Union. That same year she won two Olympic gold medals, for the javelin and 80-meter hurdles, and a disqualification kept her from the high jump gold medal. Turning to golf, she won 17 consecutive amateur titles in 1947. She turned professional and continued to win. In 1952 at the age of 38, her health began to fail. She had cancer surgery and went on to win two golf titles in 1954. Her health failed again in 1956, but surgery was not successful.