We all have a myth in mind that women cannot play better than men. But this myth has been proven wrong time and again by various women who have reached a milestone in their field of sports. The best arena where we can analyze women’s performance is The Olympics.
Earlier it could have been said that people lacked the interest in promoting women sports and encouraging them to participate actively in various sports event. But now specially from the end of nineteenth century, women has excelled in every possible field of sports. It is now said that in modern day Olympics there are about 2000 women participants. This has all come true due to the modernization. The commencement of encouraging women in sports was mainly in Europe and America. They started to encourage girls at the school level so that they can become a famous figure in sports in their future. Skater Peggy Fleming became very famous in 1968. She was from United States of America. She became the inspiration to many women. Gradually, tennis became a famous sports amongst women. They all started attracted towards that sports. Although women were gaining pace in sports, people or rather some organizations still feared to sponsor women sports. Despite of the increasing level of their sports, they were still struggling to get to the level of men sports.
In 776 B.C, Olympic Games first held at Greece. There women were excluded. This was the starting of Olympics where women had no place. Then after a few reforms all but married women were allowed to participate. Kallipateria was the first woman being coach in 440 B.C. Then in 396 B.C, women were allowed to participate. Kyniska won a chariot race, but she was not allowed to receive her prize in person. After that the position of women started improving. They were getting one or two prizes per Olympics held. In 1900, it was decided that women can participate in only two events viz. tennis and golf. In modern Olympics there is still confusion about whether a sport is Olympic or not. So, it becomes difficult to actually tell the name of the first woman who won an event in a sport which is really an Olympic. Still there are some names which worth to be named in the earliest and amongst the first women who wona prize in Olympics. They are Helen de Pourtales from Switzerland for Yachting, Elvira Guerra from France for Equestrianism, Mme Ohnier and Madame Depres from France for Croquet, Charlotte Cooper from Great Britain for Tennis, Margaret Abbott from USA for Golf and Madame Maison from France for Ballooning. Helen de Pourtales (mixed event) and Charlotte Cooper (individual women’s event) was the first gold medalist in Olympics.
Atheletics was proving as a barrier for women to progress. But later on this hurdle was also passed by some courageous women. Now coming to the Olympics which were held in Beijing, China in 2008. There are numerous women worth listing. There were more than 42 percent of women participants. This was a new record created in modern Olympics. Hope this trend of participation remains the same or even increase in the coming Olympics.