Women are making history at the London 2012 Olympic Games. For the first time in history, women athletes are representing every single competing country. Saudi Arabia was the last hold-out, but they finally entered two female athletes earlier this summer. Although women first competed in the modern Olympic Games in 1900, this is the first year that every sport had a woman’s division. Boxing was the last all male sport until this year. World champion Katie Taylor from Ireland took the gold in the Light weight class, and 17 year-old American Claressa Shields won gold in the Middle weight class.
US women have taken the Olympics by storm. Katie Ledecky, at 15-years-old the youngest American athlete, won a gold medal in the 800m Freestyle. Swimmers Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt each won five medals, just one short of Michael Phelps’ six. Gabby Douglas was the first African-American gymnast to win gold in the individual all-around competition. In addition, the women’s gymnastics team won the gold medal in the team competition, which is only the second time Americans have won the women’s team title. Women’s beach volleyball doubles team of Misty-May Treanor and Kerri Walsh, and the women’s soccer team each won their third straight gold medals.
As of Friday morning, the US women have won gold medals in 26 events, about 25% of the total gold medals won by women. In total, 99 American women will go home with at least one medal. 70 women will bring home at least one gold. In contrast, 47 American men will bring medals home, 21 of them gold. Overall, medals earned by women make up 56% of the United States medal count. American women have won medals in 51 events so far, but are expected to beat the 53 medal record set in Beijing in 2008.
Media Resources: Official London 2012 8/10/12; CNN 8/10/12; AP 8/10/12
Photo via Wikimedia Commons.