Women’s sports in the Olympics, 1900. Women’s boxing, 100+ years later!

The timeline of women as Olympic athletes began in 1900. Margaret Abbott won the Olympic women’s golf competition. She shot 47 in a 9-hole tournament. There were 11 competitors.

In 1904, Matilda Scott Howell was the first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympics. She won three archery events.

Swimming was opened to women in 1912. In 1920, 14-year old Aileen Riggin won the 3-meter springboard. She is still the youngest American woman to win an Olympic medal. In 1924, she was the only woman to win diving and swimming medals.

Women’s track was added in 1928.

In 1948, Alice Coachman was the first woman of color, from any country, to win an Olympic gold medal. She won gold in the high jump, in the 1948 London games.

Also in 1948, Janice Lee York Romary started her all-time fencing record run. She fenced in 1948 and in every subsequent Olympics until 1968. She was also the first woman to carry the American flag in the opening ceremony.

Women’s volleyball came in 1964.

Cycling was opened to women in 1988.

And women’s boxing is the latest — coming in 2012.

There is so much history here and so much more to be written! Thanks to NWHM — National Women’s History Museum!