Every time the Olympics rolls around I can’t help but get a little excited. Ever since I was a kid, I’d sit in front of the TV and marvel at the amazing talent and skills demonstrated by people who seemed to defy the laws of physics — or at least have super-human powers. And it has always been a source of pride for me that one of my first stories I wrote in Las Vegas was about local Olympic gymnast Tasha Schwikert.
With the 2012 Olympics in London upon us, its women and openly gay athletes who are taking center stage. This games marks the first time in history that all participating countries will have a woman representing them. Even tiny Brunei, which is only sending three athletes to these games, has a woman on their team. Likewise, there are more openly gay athletes (21) at this Olympics than at Athens (2004) or Beijing (2008). Interestingly, all but three of those athletes are lesbians.
And it’s not just about quantity over quality. The athlete who is making all the headlines as, perhaps, the top woman in the world is 17-year-old American swimmer Missy Franklin, who is expected to match or beat Michael Phelps’ medal record in the pool.
Long story short: Women rule the 2012 Olympics!
This is all thanks, in no small part, to the success of Title IX, which celebrates 40 years just as these games are upon us. There would be no women’s soccer team (who have already chalked up a win!), if there had not first been Title IX, ensuring equal access, scholarships, and more.
So, the next time we see some national headlines decrying the failures of feminism and women…remind them of this! 205 countries from all over the world — some of them known as hell-on-earth for women — and EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM has at least one woman on their team!
This is the year feminism gets a gold medal!