For women, athletics was initially perceived as a male activity. It seems that over the years, cultural and ideological changes make it easier for women to join and express themselves in the sporting world. Against the odds and initial criticism against female athletes, women are taking center stage and reaching new heights while breaking athletic records that were once deemed impossible.
The United States is an excellent example of a nation where women’s athletics have received much recognition and paved a way for other countries to follow suit. The number of women participating in sports has increased dramatically in recent years. According to statistical data published by the Women’s Sports Foundation, women’s participation in high school sports increased from a mere 294,000 in 1971 to over 3.4 million in 2019. It clearly indicates a surge in interest and a rise in athleticism levels among women.
The success that women have achieved in sports has not come without fault and adversity. Women have had to fight hard to prove themselves, overtaking sexist stereotypes and societal norms. Before the 1900s, women were only allowed to participate in golf, tennis, croquet, and archery. At the 1900s Olympics, women made their debut in tennis, golf, sailing, and croquet. The 1928 Olympics saw the inclusion of women’s track and field events, and in 1984, the organizers of the Olympics held the first women’s marathon event.
The scenario for women in sports took a different turn during the 1960s, when women began to show noteworthy performances in sporting events and started breaking records. The inclusion of Title IX in 1972 was a massive win for female athletes, as it prohibited discrimination in any training, educational, or activity that receives federal funding. This bill opened doors for women by mandating an equal distribution of scholarships, as well as training facilities and competitive opportunities.
The rise of women in athletics can be accredited to the female athletes themselves. They exhibit their determination, strength, and devotion, inspiring other women worldwide to defy societal conventions and aim for excellence in all areas of life. Women’s athletics have become more innovative and sophisticated than ever. Along with this development have come more accessible opportunities and outlets for women to express themselves in their preferred sport.
Today, female athletes such as Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, and Alex Morgan are adored and admired worldwide for their remarkable abilities and contributions to the sporting world. The highest-paid female athlete, Naomi Osaka, has become a role model for young athletes worldwide, surpassing her tennis prowess to excel in other areas of life like fashion and activism. Women continue to obtain recognition and create records that stand the test of time, an indication of how far they have come in the sporting industry.
In conclusion, the rise of women in athletics showcases the success stories of women who have surpassed hurdles, broken records and become some of the most exceptional personalities of our generation. The world of sports has undergone a significant transformation, improving stage by stage to provide equal opportunities and fair grounds for female athletes. By the sound of the buzz in the industry, it’s evident that this is only the beginning. Women are here to stay and continue achieving extra-ordinary feats. The rise of women in athletics is praiseworthy, and this will inspire a whole new generation of girls to participate in and contribute to the sporting industry.