There was a time when it was believed that the best athletes were men. Little by little, women, based on effort, talent and a much needed change of mindset from the society, showed that their conditions were as good as those of the men. This is how ground breaking athletes emerged in different sports that left an indelible mark on sports history such as it could be seen with the Australian Women’s Rugby Team as Swords Today published. They shattered all boundaries in much more difficult time than ours. Times changed, but we won’t forget these pioneers in sports. We shout out to them in this article:
Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run a marathon
Katherine Switzer set a precedent for women to run marathons. In 1967, the runner registered with her initials to run the legendary marathon of the city of Boston, because until then the competition did not contemplate women, considering that they did not have the capacity to complete it.
During the tour, the cameras photographed her as if she were a circus curiosity and even tried to remove her from the race. Katherine Switzer finally made it to the finish line, but unfortunately, her participation was not considered official. However, from that moment the world realized that women could also be great marathoners.
She may have not won the battle, but she definitely won the war.
Enriqueta Basilio, the first woman to light an Olympic fire
It happened in Mexico, during the 1968 Olympic Games at the Ciudad Universitaria Stadium. Enriqueta Basilio was the first woman to light an Olympic fire in the history of world sport. She was 20 years old when she climbed the 90 steps that led to the stadium’s famous cauldron to immortalize her name and become a global sports icon.
Lusia “Lucy” Harris, the only woman recruited into an NBA team
Lusia “Lucy” Harris is recognized as the first and only woman to be recruited by an NBA team. This occurred in the seventh round of the 1977 draft when the New Orleans Jazz team selected the player from Delta State University. However, the player was unable to debut in the NBA when she found out that she was pregnant. It was thus that the possibility of playing at a professional level was cut short for this great player.
Billy Jean King: Winner of the “Battle of the Sexes”
In 1973 tennis saw an event considered historic when the tennis player Billy Jean King defeated the then Wimbledon champion, Bobby Riggs. The meeting was known as “The battle of the sexes”. Before that meeting, in 1972 Billy Jean was named “athlete of the year” by Sports Illustrated magazine. It was the first time this honour had been given to a woman.
Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim across the English Channel
She was the first woman to swim across the English Channel that divides Britain and France. It happened in 1926, after a first failed attempt in 1925. It took her 14 hours and 34 minutes to reach the French shore. Her record was broken in 1950.
Nadia Comăneci, the embodiment of perfection
She was the first athlete in history to achieve a perfect score in an Olympic artistic gymnastics competition according to the Olympics’ website. It was thanks to her exercise on asymmetric bars at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, when Nadia was 14 years old. Nobody until then had achieved.
Charlotte Cooper, the first woman to win an Olympic title
At the 1900 Paris Olympics, Cooper was the first woman to win a title in the history of the Olympic Games, however, she did not have a medal because they had not yet been awarded. In addition to this, she was five times Wimbledon champion, the last one in 1908, when she was 37 years old.
Sports have come a long way since then and now women are equal to man in every discipline. And that’s where they belong, for sure. Women surpassed stereotyped boundaries of just doing “lady” sports and tried their luck in more intense disciplines such as boxing and UFC.
Even online betting has included women’s sports as of today. Now you can visit sites such as SBO, and find the best portals to place your bets on your favourite women’s sports. You can do it from your phone or tablet, as long as you have an internet connection. You can try your luck on many women’s sports to celebrate equality!
It was because of these mind-opening women athletes that we are where we are today.
Sports have grown so big that are a huge part of our life. Being passionate, professional and unique is a human aptitude that goes beyond sex, race or religion. If you put your mind and effort into a something, with devotion and perseverance you will definitely get far. And if you don’t, because life circumstances, you will at least have fun!