Outstanding Women Athletes: Who They Are and How They Influenced Sports in America

Outstanding Women Athletes: Who They Are and How They Influenced Sports in America

Outstanding Women Athletes: Who They Are and How They Influenced Sports in America

Outstanding Women Athletes: Who They Are and How They Influenced Sports in America

Synopsis

Sixty athletes are profiled, arranged in 19 sports categories. Supplementary material includes an annotated bibliography listed by sport, a directory of organizations and foundations that promote women's sports in the US, and lists of Olympic medalists. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Excerpt

As we near the twenty-first century, more women than ever before will have the chance to reach their potential as athletes. The road for full and complete acceptance of women in the sports world, however, has been a long and arduous one. Sports in America emerged in the nineteenth century as a strictly male domain. Women were discouraged from participating in anything more than recreational activities because of myths about women being the weaker sex, unable physically and emotionally to handle the pressures and strains of competition. But beginning in the latter part of the previous century, women began to challenge these myths, proving that they belonged in sports and that they could benefit from full participation. In June 1997, America celebrated the 25th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, legislation that helped provide opportunities for thousands of young female athletes to reach their potential on sports fields around the country.

Early in the twentieth century, sports pioneers like Eleonora Sears, Helen Wills Moody, and Gertrude Ederle challenged the sexist barriers and broke down many of the restrictive notions about women's physical abilities. These women opened doors for future generations of female athletes-- athletes such as Chris Evert, Nancy Lopez, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee--who took advantage of the efforts of the early sports- women to forge new ground of their own.

Outstanding Women Athletes: Who They Are and How They Influenced Sports in America, second edition, provides, under one cover, a resource combining history, biography, bibliography, and statistics about women's sporting experiences in America. Part 1 consists of two historical chapters. Competitive sports, in which women entered tournaments and contests that pitted their skills against those of other women, are primarily a twentieth-century phenomenon. The female "athlete" emerged in the "twentieth century and brought with her dress reform and an interest in fitness as an empowering force. Women who participated in sports early in the twentieth century, such as Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman, Glenna Collett Vare, and Babe Didrikson Zaharias, generally did so outside the strict confines of proper behavior set by society; despite all the restrictions, these women garnered near-hero status because of their exceptional talents and endearing person-

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