by Team Snapbac
In honour of International Women’s Day this March 8, 2019, we would like to take a moment to honor the incredible women who have cut their way through the world of sports and made history with their athletic accomplishments. Though many sports began as male dominated events, massive strides through history have been made to bring balance and equality into our social structures. This year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, brings that idea into sharper focus as we continue to fight for women’s rights around the world. In honor of the changes that have been made and the ones still to come, here is a commemoration of the brave, tenacious and role busting women who have paved the way and made a difference in the world of athletic achievements.
Going back in time we can thank Gertrude Ederle, who in 1926 became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. Prior to that, in 1924, she won one gold and two bronze medals swimming in the Olympics. For breaking into track and field, Wilma Rudolph deserves honor and memory. In 1956 she competed in the summer Olympics and in 1960 she became the first American woman to win three gold medals! For her achievements on the court, we want to remember tennis player Althea Gibson. She was the first African American woman to win the French open in 1956 and win the singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in ’57 and ’58. Staying on the court, let’s recognize Babe Didrikson Zaharias an All-American basketball player who led her team to the 1931 championship. She also joined the Olympic track team in 1932 winning golds in hurdles and javelin and silver in the high jump. She wasn’t done yet! She later won the U.S. Women’s Amateur golf tournament in 1946, the British Ladies’ Amateur in 1947, and the U.S. Women’s Open and three Women’s Western Opens in 1948.
Women like the ones above helped lay a foundation for all women with a dream of gold medals, broken records and top scores.
Today’s young athletes have powerhouse women like tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams, U.S. women’s soccer Alex Morgan, American swimmer and 7 time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard, five LPGA victor Michelle Wie, leading Team USA gymnasts to gold Simone Biles, Los Angeles Sparks WNBA forward Candace Nicole Parker and baseball’s, Team Japan, Ayami Sato who can throw close to 80 miles an hour and an ERA of 0.00 in 2014, 1.33 in 2016 and 0.50 in 2018 over 14 innings!
Let’s not forget winter sports, extreme sports and NASCAR! 2010 Gold winner and 2018 Bronze, USA skier Lindsey Vonn shows guts on the powder. Maame Biney makes strides for race and sex becoming the first African American woman to place on the US Olympic speed skating team! Halfpipe snowboarder Kelly Clark is still the youngest American snowboarder to win a medal. Finally a shout-out goes to Danica Patrick, a trend-setter as the only woman to ever win an IndyCar Series race!
With role models like this, there is no stopping the modern-day women from tackling her athletic dreams!