History of Women in Sports

  • Beginning of Women in Sports

    Beginning of Women in Sports
    Women have competed in sports since 776 B.C.E when women were excluded from the Olympics but competed every four years in the Heraen Games. This was the first recorded womens athletic competition and the women competed in running races. In 396 B.C.E Kyniska, a Spartian princess, wins an Olympic chariot race, but is prevented from collecting her prize. In 1722 British boxer Elizabeth Wilkinson defeats Martha Jones. On January 9, 1811 the first known womens golf tournament was held in Scotland.
  • Croquet

    Croquet is believed to be the first outdoor game played by women. It is also said to be the first game played where men and women were equal. The first women's croquet championship was held in England and was won by a Mrs. George Curling Joad on August 21,1869.
  • Wellesley College Rowing

    Wellesley College Rowing
    In 1875 Wellesley College established the first rowing program for women and is the oldest surviving program. Wellesley College also opened a gymnasium for physical activity and a lake for ice skating for women.
  • Women in Baseball

    Women in Baseball
    In 1861 Matthew Vassar establishes Vassar College, a school for women to participate in physical education. In 1866 Vassar college is the first school to have two amateur baseball teams, the blondes and the brunettes. On September 11, 1875 the first public game with money charged at entry is played between the blondes and the brunettes.
  • Women at Wimbledon

    Women at Wimbledon
    In 1884 women's singles tennis is added to Wimbledon Championship. Maud Watson won in both 1884 and 1885. This is the beginning of an era of amazing women athletes in the game of tennis.
  • Women Need Physical Activity

    Women Need Physical Activity
    Since the beginning of time women have been told that physical activity is bad for their bodies. In September 1892 the journal "Physical Education" a publication of the YMCA wrote an issue stating that women need physical exercise and fitness. This dismisses the earlier idea that women do not need physical exercise and that they are too weak.
  • Volleyball

    In 1895 the game of volleyball was invented by William G. Morgan in Holyoke Massechusetts, and women have been playing since its inception in 1895. It is one of the few sports that women were allowed to play since the inception of the sport. By the 1990's volleyball became the second largest participation sport in the United States.
  • Women at the Olympics

    Women at the Olympics
    Women made their first appearence at the Olympic games in Paris, France in1900. Women were allowed to compete in tennis and golf, but three women competed in croquet and one women was apart of a sailing crew. The first womens Olympic champion was England's Charlotte Cooper in singles tennis.
  • Archery

    Matilda Howell of the United States won seventeen National Women's Archery Championships between 1883 and 1907, the most titles ever won. She won three gold medals in archery at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis. The first international women's archery competition was held in 1931 and won by Janina Spychajowa-Kurkowska of Poland. Janina won seven world titles in archery.
  • Women's Athletic Associations

    In 1917, the American Physical Education Association (APEA) formed a women's athletics commitee responsible for standarizing seperate rules for women's college swimming, soccer field hockey, and track and field. The National Amateur and Athletic Federation (NAAF) is established in 1922, establishing the same standards, programs and regulations for both men and women.
  • U.S. Women's Impact in Olympic Diving

    U.S. Women's Impact in Olympic Diving
    In 1920 fourteen year old Aileen Riggin wins the first women's Olympic springboard diving competition. The United States women dominated the Olympics springboard diving, winning gold, silver and bronze from 1920 till 1948.
  • Gertrude Ederle

    Gertrude Ederle
    On August 6, 1926 Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to swim across the English Channel and she completed the swim in 14 hours and 30 minutes, two hours faster than any man. At the 1924 Paris Olympics, she won a gold medal apart of the U.S. 4x100 meter freestyle relay team. She also won two bronze medals in the 100 and 400 meter freestyle races. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8PIVRsd3KE
  • "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias

    "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias
    Mildred Ella "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias is one of the most important female athletes of all time. She demonstrated the ability of women athletes and brought attention to women in sports. Babe participated in basketball, track, baseball, tennis, swimming, diving, boxing, volleyball, handball, bowling, billiards and golf. She won two gold medals and a silver at the 1932 Olympics in Javelin throw, 80 meter hurdles and high jump. She won three Grand Slam majors in Golf and won 10 majors in all.
  • Sonja Henie

    Sonja Henie
    In 1936 Sonja Henie wins the last of her ten consecutive world skating championships and her third Olympic gold medal. Henie won three Olympic Championships in 1928,192, and 1936; she won ten world championships and six european championships. Henie revolutionized figure skating choreographing her programs with music and costumes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaMq_6qOwvY
  • Wilma Rudolph

    Wilma Rudolph
    Wilma Rudolf an African American athlete was considered the fastest women in the world in the 1960's and competed in two Olympics. She won a bronze medal in the 4x100 meter relay in 1956 at the Melbourne Olympics and 3 gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay at the 1960 Rome Olympics. She gained international attention and was called "The Tornado, The Black Gazelle, and The Black Pearl."
  • Title IX

    Title IX
    The United States Congress passed Title IX under the Education Amendments of 1972. It states that no person on the basis of sex can be excluded from participation, denied of benefits or discriminated under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial aid. This gave women the opportunity to go to college for athletics and created many athletic programs around the country for women. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARIDJiJwmhY
  • Billie Jean King

    Billie Jean King
    Billie Jean King was one of the most important people in women's sports and rights. She beat Bobby Riggs, the number one male tennis star, in a battle of the sexes match. She proved that women have equal abilities of men. Her accomplishments also include 12 Grand Slam singles titles, 16 Grand Slam women's doubles titles, and 11 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. She is the founder of the Women's Tennis Assciation, and owner of World Team Tennis.
  • Women's World Cup Soccer

    Women's World Cup Soccer
    In 1991, FIFA established the Women's World Cup with the United States winning its inaugural championship. The championship is awarded every four years, and the first championship was held sixty one years after the men's first FiFa World Cup in 1930. Today the tournament involves 16 international teams. The 1999 Womens World Cup won by the United States was attended by 90,185 people, a world record for a women's sporting event. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbTiiAtLXnE
  • Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson

    Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson
    The Beijing Olympics in 2008 demonstrated the abilities of women athletes, especially U.S. gymnastics duo Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson. The two demonstrated domination winning gold and silver in women's individual all-around champion. The Olympics have helped women to demonstrate their amazing abilities in sports and is pushing women's sports to the next level. Now four years later the 2012 Olympics in London will prove even more how much women deserve to compete in sports.