On the 40th anniversary of Title IX, American women showed the world how this one piece of legislation, which prohibited gender discrimination in school sports, changed the course for women’s participation in sports. The women at the London Olympics were superb. Of the 46 Gold Medals for Team USA, female athletes won 29, the men 17. The women also topped the men in overall medals earned, 58 to 46 for a total of 104 Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Without women earning all these medals, the United States would have trailed China in total medal counts.
This definitely was the “year of the women” at the London Olympics. The US team was even nicknamed “Team Title IX.” American women were not the only dominating factor; there were over 5000 women athletes representing 200 countries, 44% of the total Olympians competing. The Russian and Chinese medal winners were also mostly women. What a tremendous role model for the girls and young women fortunate enough to witness this year’s women’s supremacy via Twitter, Facebook, and television to list a few avenues transmitting the latest competition results.
Yes, Title IX has been a fantastic success. Women’s participation in sports has increased 900% in public schools and 450% in collegiate sports since enactment of the law. Wonderful role models now exist for young women who at one time could only dream of playing sports and competing on such a high level. The US is the impetus for other countries to expand programs for their female students and cultivate future Olympians. Working together, women will become stronger and more dominant athletes.
However, there is still a gender gap. Of the 109 members of the International Olympic Committee, only 22 are women. This statistic must improve. There has to be total equality for women in all aspects of sports; in participation, management, and leadership. Please share your comments.