Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



How Female Competitors Are Breathing New Life Into Sports 0

Posted on March 18, 2021 by Amaia Twain

Sports is changing its game face—turning an optimistic gaze towards women and the issues they represent. Women play and win in the Olympics, major leagues, and other international competitions. More of their games can be seen on television and online. There are huge audiences gathered in stadiums to cheer and support their games.  

True, women are making strides in various sports, conquering game after game, and winning seemingly impossible feats. They’re medalists, champions, and ambassadors to show young girls and other women that they can excel in sports.

Amidst the glitz of shiny medals and the sparkle of huge trophies, roaring crowds, and confetti, women are now leading their own to address issues of gender equality in sports. They’re breathing new life into sports by championing equal pay, equal training opportunities, scholarships, and facilities. 

In short, they’re using ‘girl power’ to claim their rights and ensure aspiring female athletes are given a fair chance. Society and sports organizations are listening and addressing these needs in the world of sports and beyond.  

Breathing Life Into Sports 

Women have come a long way from their first appearance in the Olympics. From 22 female athletes in the 1900s, there were 5,059 female athletes in the 2016 Olympics. They comprise 40% of sportspeople worldwide and excel in various sports such as basketball, boxing, football, skiing, soccer, and tennis.

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A History of Women Protesting in Sports 0

Posted on October 28, 2020 by Alex Volski

Since women were allowed to the Olympic Games for the first time in 1990, Paris, the situation with sexism and discrimination in the world of sports has not significantly changed, though. If we follow the history of professional sports, we will realize tons of episodes with women athletes that can not be regarded but as chauvinism. They include all kinds of discrimination from obvious lack of respect, restrictions in terms of participating at different kinds of sports or separate tournaments to the revolting acts of harassment, like it was with Kathrine Switzer in 1967, for instance.

Despite protests, Katherine Switzer became the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon.

She has entered the Boston Marathon despite the fact the women were not actually allowed to participate. The reasons seemed quite strange for Kathrine: some experts claimed that sports, particularly running, could be harmful for women’s health in some way, including impact on fertility. Such social injustice was something Kathrine could not move on with and she registered for the Marathon, having pretended she was a man. When the truth was revealed, Kathrine was almost finishing — but the official seized her and tried to take her away from the race. However, he was not successful and Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to have finished the race in the Boston Marathon. This was humiliating, from the one hand — and productive, from the other, as a couple of years later, women were officially allowed to the Marathon.

How and what for do athlete women protest

It would be strange to deny that this current state of a woman position in amateur and professional sports is rather dismaying — the lack of equality is still unfortunately obvious, if one looks into this subject a little deeper. However, this, surprisingly, gives women athletes more power — as their votes become louder when it comes to a protest.

This makes the history of women protesting in sports divide into two ways. There is a history of protesting for simply being in sports for women — like the previously mentioned story about Kathrine Switzer. However, the subject appears to be much wider when sports happens to mix with politics and when society needs the voices of minorities to draw as much attention as possible to different issues.

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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