Why U.S. Women Will Dominate the Olympics

20136022-mmmainU.S. women are off to a great start at the Summer Olympics.  Although the games don’t really begin until tomorrow, the U.S. Women’s Soccer team dominated the field last night against New Zealand during their Olympic opener (click here for more info on the game) setting the stage for even greater moments of sports glory for women on all our U.S. teams.  But, it hasn’t always been that way.

During the 1972 Summer Olympics U.S. women won just 23 medals and in sports where we now tend to dominate–such as gymnastics–women did not even see the podium. What also happened in 1972 was the passing of Title IX, a move that would forever change women’s sports–the Olympics is a visual representation of just “how dramatic that transformation has been,” writes Greg Myre for NPR.

At the 2012 Olympics in London not only did the U.S. send more women to the games than men, but women won more medals–a trend we will probably see continue in Rio. The women’s basketball team is looking to capture its sixth straight gold medal, soccer is working for its fourth.  And both the women’s eight in rowing and women’s water polo teams are reigning Olympic champions not even close to giving up their titles. “What the history of Title IX shows us is that if you provide women with quality sports opportunities, they’ll come and they’ll excel,” said Nancy Hogshead-Makar during an interview with NPR.

While Title IX has certainly made it more possible for women to achieve sport success, the rise of “women’s sports mirrors the greater prominence of women in every facet of American life, from the Olympics to this year’s presidential campaign,” writes Myre–showing us the importance of creating equality on and off the playing field. TWEET THIS

Click here to read the entire NPR article.