The U.S. women dominated the medal count at the Tokyo Olympics, in ways they have never done before,
TOKYO-At the Tokyo Olympic Games, American athletes often ascended to the top of the medal podium to receive gold, silver, or bronze medals. Nearly 60% of the medallists from the United States were women for the first time in history.
The United States‘ women would have finished fourth in the Olympic medal count if they were their own country, ahead of Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Australia, and nearly 200 other nations, and behind only the entire U.S. team, China, and the Russian Olympic Committee.
Out of 66 Teams from the USA’s 113 medals were won by women, while men earned 41. Six of the medals were earned by male and female athletes competing in mixed competitions. Women won 58.4 percent of all U.S. medals, considerably exceeding the previous highest result of 55.8 percent of medals won by American women at the 2012 London Olympics. The 66 medals earned by American women at the Olympics are women.
U.S. Olympic and Paralympics Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland told USA TODAY Sports on Friday, “What an outstanding monument to the hard work of these incredible athletes and to those courageous women who blazed the road before them.” “We’re ecstatic.”
Tennis icon Billie Jean King is one of those women who blazed the way and possibly the most famous women’s sports pioneer of all time. “If you offer girls and women the same investment, opportunity, and access as everyone else, their potential is limitless,” King texted.
This was not only the fourth consecutive Summer Olympics in which American women won more medals than American men, but it was also the third consecutive Summer Games in which women outnumbered males on the United States team.
It is no surprise to know why this is taking place. Thanks to Title IX, a United States law signed by President Richard Nixon in June 1972 guaranteed equal treatment for girls and women in sports, allowing millions of female athletes to participate during the last half-century.
In a text message, Olympic gold medallist Donna de Varona, a member of the USOPC board of directors and long time women’s sports advocate, said, “As a Team the whole USA celebrates its Olympic performances, one must acknowledge how almost 50 years ago, in an effort to elevate women in our society, Title IX empowered generations of women to compete, lead, win, and inspire.”
“We have seen how regulated and protected opportunities have had a tremendous impact on our culture in the sporting arena. Title IX, thank you.”
“I don’t think I would be here without Title IX,” American April Ross said after winning the gold medal in women’s beach volleyball on Friday afternoon.
“I am confident that I would not be where I am now if it had not been for my experience playing college athletics at USC,” she stated. “It taught me so much, and I am eternally thankful to all the women and men who came before me who battled for my right to compete in college and receive a free education.” In a text message, swimming gold champion Katie Ledecky, who is now back in the United States, reiterated these sentiments.
“Title IX has had a significant impact on women participating in sports, as evidenced by women’s results at the Tokyo Olympics,” she stated. “It’s a fantastic reflection of Billie Jean King’s, Donna de Varona’s, and others’ efforts to get Title IX passed, and it gives me immense gratitude.” To that purpose, it’s conceivable to trace the growing significance of Title IX in the evolution of American Olympic teams.
Team USA competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics with 375 men and 271 women, with the men earning 58.4 percent of the medals compared to 38.6 percent for the women, including three medals in mixed events.
Due to the introduction of softball and women’s soccer, as well as excellent achievements by women in gymnastics, swimming, and basketball, among other sports, those Games were known as the “Women’s Olympics.”
Women were still outnumbered by men on the U.S. team in Beijing in 2008, 282 to 306, but it was the first time the U.S. women won more medals than the men, 56-55.
Four years later, in London, more women than men were on the American team for the first time, 268-262, with women earning 58 medals to 45 for the men, with one medal in a mixed event.
Team USA had 291 women and 263 men in Rio five years ago, with women earning 50.4 percent of the medals compared to 46.3 percent for males, with four medals in mixed events. This tendency is predicted to continue in future Olympic Games, although it will take some effort.
“We’ll have to continue to campaign for female sports equality, not be afraid to speak out, pursue legal and political remedies, have a place in corporate boardrooms, and not be bashful about participating in those processes that will continue to bring change,” Ledecky said.
Olympic gold medallist and Title IX attorney Nancy Hogshead-Makar, who is pushing for colleges to stop discriminating against women’s sports, said:
“America’s women’s team’s amazing accomplishments in Tokyo are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of women’s potential.”