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Women in Sport

Women participate in a wide range of sports around the world. There have been some important milestones in the participation of women in world sport.

woman tennis player woman tennis player

Great Women Athletes

Man or woman, being a great athlete is distinguished by their exceptional physical abilities, mental toughness, dedication to relentless training, and the ability to perform consistently at the highest level, combined with a strong work ethic, resilience in overcoming challenges, and an unwavering drive to improve and succeed in their sport. These are attributes of some of the greatest athletes of all time are women, such as Serena Williams, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

Women at the Olympics

No women competed at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 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. See more about Women at the Olympics.

Women's Sports

Women participate in a wide range of sports around the world, and most sports are not exclusive to any gender. However, there are some sports that are for women and predominantly played by women, such as netball, softball and rhymic gymnastics.

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 men. However, in many instances 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?

Women in Sport Polls

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