Women in Sport
Women have long fought for equal rights in sports. There have been some important milestones in the participation of women in world sport.
Women at the Olympics
No women competed at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens 1896, as the founder of the modern Olympics Pierre de Coubertin felt that their inclusion would be "impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect.". Women first competed at the 1900 Paris Games in lawn tennis and golf. Over time more and more women's sports and events were added. In 2009, the IOC voted to include women's boxing at the 2012 London Games, resulting in for the first time men and women competing in all sports.
Women and Men Competing
Women may have a disadvantage in sports in which physicality (speed, strength, endurance, body size etc.) is a factor, however there are many sports in which skill is the predominant factor in success, and therefore there is no reason why highly skilled females cannot be competitive against the men. In sports such as bowling, darts, billiards, where skill is most important, women should be able to be competitive against the men. In many cases this is not the case, probably due to the much larger number of men playing sport, and therefore having the dominating numbers. This does not rule out the occasional woman who can take them on and win.
Women beating men at their game?
There have been a few well publicized events where women have taken on men at sport. In which sports are women better than men? And can they really compete against each other?
- In GOLF, several women have taken on the men at their own game such as Michelle Wie.
- In TENNIS, a famous tennis battle of the sexes took place between Bobby Riggs and Margaret Court and Billie Jean King.
- In BOXING, Margaret McGregor defeated Loi Chow in 1999.
- In ICE HOCKEY, Manon Rheaume is the only woman to play in an NHL game, an exhibition game in 1992 for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and several others have played professional hockey around the world.