Skip to main content

Women Olympians Face Unique Challenges

This was originally posted at the AWEARNESS blog. 

The only Winter Olympics event in which women cannot compete is ski jumping. Why? Apparently it's because women are "too fragile," along with an outdated system of rules that allow the International Olympic Committee to keep "American Lindsey Van, who holds the world record for the single longest jump by anyone, male or female" from competing for a gold medal. When the IOC tries to explain that women can't compete because there aren't enough women jumping, the conversation circles around to, How can we increase interest and participation if women's ski jumping isn't allowed at the Olympics?

On the ice, at least, we continue to see a few women hockey teams rule. After Canada whipped Slovakia 18-0, buzz started that perhaps women's hockey wasn't up to snuff, that maybe the sport is too lopsided. We've heard this type of talk surrounding women's Oympic events before - about softball (which was cut) and soccer.

In other female Olympian news, we have a pregnant curler! I love, love, love that her team was supportive of her staying on the team and competing in Vancouver.

What we are seeing with all this turmoil is a growing pain in women's sports. Women in the USA have played under Title IX since 1972, less than 40 years. We have seen huge strides made in women and girls' participation in the USA, but we have a ways to go, and many nations have an even steeper uphill climb than we do. I think that for another few Olympic cycles we'll still see a dominance in non-traditional women's sports of a few countries, but some countries are battling social norms. For instance, "People in China think [hockey] is too physical and too rough for girls." In hockey, as with many winter sports, there is also a price-point to get past. Hockey is an expensive sport.

Patience. That's what the IOC needs when it comes to women's sports. Women's sports have a history of having to fight to even be played. For the IOC to put up barriers, like barring the women's ski jump, for sports to be on this big stage is just plain short sighted. Give women's sports a few more years and things will settle down. History has shown that in other sports for both men and women.


Heart said…
You said:'For the IOC to put up barriers, like barring the women's ski jump, for sports to be on this big stage is just plain short sighted'

I would For the IOC to put up barriers, like barring the women's ski jump, for sports to be on this big stage is just plain sexism.

And the men think we just should not get angry about this. If they told men of color or Jewish men not to get angry about racism or anti-Semitism, that in itself would be considere racism. But as always sexism is acceptable in this men's world and men find sexism funny.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Mary: The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter

Mary: The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter by Brea Grant My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews

Frederick, A Virtual Puppet Performance - Read by Michael Shannon

WOW...this is my first post during the Coronavirus pandemic! I hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. Thanks to the Chicago Children’s Theatre, the city’s largest professional theater devoted exclusively to children and families, for launching a new YouTube channel, CCTv: Virtual Theatre and Learning from Chicago Children’s Theatre. To kick if off we are treated to Frederick. Here's hoping this helps with your little ones. Or is a comfort to everyone of all ages. Chicago Children’s Theatre’s all-new virtual puppet performance was created while all of the artists were sheltering in place, working with resources limited to what they had in their homes or on their laptops. Frederick is directed by CCT Co-Founder and Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell. Puppets and sets were designed, built and puppeteered in a home studio by Grace Needlman and Will Bishop, CCT’s Director of Production, the creative team behind CCT’s annual series of Beatrix Potter puppet show

Book Review: Wolfpack by Abby Wambach

Less than a year ago, Abby Wambach took the stage at Barnard's commencement and gave a speech that shook many, including myself, to the core . Her speech went viral and I made the above image in order to share the highlights of her speech. Earlier this month Abby released the speech in book form. Wolfpack : How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game is short (less than 100 pages) but is much more than just her speech . You get a peek into how the speech came together and why she said everything. And because the book is short and is an expanded speech, it moves quickly. I feel that it moves with the same ferocity that Abby use to move down a soccer field. And you might find yourself cheering as she takes you through the story. Abby has always been one of my favorite players. The way she ran amok on the pitch was exactly the way I felt I played sports. Never caring how you looked and giving it your all. Leaving it all on the field. When she retired from socc