U.S. women flex Olympic muscles
CarrieAnn Randolph, Sports Editor
September 27, 2012
Filed under Sports
Before the 2012 Summer Olympics began, many fans were saying that this was the year of the woman, and they were absolutely right. Many notable Olympic moments featured women.
For the first time in Olympic history, women represented the United States more than men making up 51 percent of the U.S. athletes (269 women to 261 men). Just 16 years ago at the Atlanta Olympics, 24 percent of the athletes were women. The Olympic Charter states that “sports should be practiced without discrimination”, yet it wasn’t until the 30th Olympiad in London that each country would send a women a representative and each sport would have both male and female competitors.
Women from Brunei, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have become trailblazers, along with competitors in boxing, which was previously a males-only sport. This remarkable achievement coincides with the 40th anniversary of Title IX, a law created by Senator Patsy Mink of Hawaii, that guarantees equal opportunity for women’s cialis sale education and sports. The head of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, also mentioned with pride in his opening ceremony speech that Title IX was “a major boost for gender equality.”
Female athletes did exceptionally well, most notably for Team USA. If the United States women were a country, they would have finished fifth in the total medal count and third in the gold medal count. They won 56 percent of Team USA’s total medals and 66 percent of its gold medals.
On the men’s side, only men’s basketball made it to the finals to win gold. Every single U.S. women’s team reached their gold medal matches. Canada’s and the USA’s women’s soccer teams battled tooth and nail to reach the finals, with the U.S. winning in the final seconds. The U.S. then faced off against Japan with a shot at redemption after its World Cup loss in 2011 and took gold.
Women’s basketball and women’s water polo each earned gold, women’s volleyball the silver, and the beach volleyball gold medal match was USA vs. USA. Other sports such as gymnastics, swimming, and track and field also captured gold this year.
Although medal results are often the focus of the Olympics, winning gold is not the point. The greatest thing about the Olympics is seeing the heart of the athletes, whether they are men or women. The Olympics are an event that brings the world together to enjoy friendly competition. It is a special time where we celebrate the best we can be as human beings and the possibilities for what we can be as a world.