London 2012 really WAS the Year of the Woman!
By Erika Davidoff and Kara Chyung
You've probably seen these stats before, but let's just recap. Every single country at the Olympics sent at least one female athlete. The USA team had more women than men for the first time ever. According to NPR, US women outshone the men, winning 100 gold medals to the mens' 59. Our women brought home team gold in water polo, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, track relays, and swimming relays; eight in rowing, and individual gold medals in a whole slew of other events.
Former gymnast Dominique Dawes was pretty pleased: "Hear us roar, I guess!"
Our USA female athletes totally and completely represented strong, remarkable, fabulous women. In women’s gymnastics, Gabby Douglas gave incredible performances. Her commitment (she left home at 14 to train) and her bubbly personality were truly remarkable. Despite the intense competition, she never failed to put on a dazzling smile. We’re also impressed with how she casually brushed off critics’ nasty comments about her hair, which are completely ridiculous. Forget the fact that she’d just won two Olympic gold medals: 'her hair is out of place, she needs to be denounced for not brushing it on primetime television!’ According to her mother, Douglas luckily laughed off the comments, saying, “Really, I won two gold medals and my hair is trending?” Precisely.
In women’s swimming, Allison Schmitt, Dana Vollmer, and Rebecca Soni just left their opponents in the dust (or the bubbles perhaps?) The women’s team this year was sensational. Missy Franklin was incredible in these Olympics, as well. She’s a phenomenal swimmer, super-smart, sweet as pie, and only seventeen! Like Gabby Douglas, she’s always smiling. Most admirable, though, is the fact that she refuses endorsements and prize money so that she can swim on her high school team. Despite all of her amazing accomplishments, she’s incredibly down-to-earth and humble.
Also in women’s sports, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings earned their third straight Olympic gold medal and didn’t drop a set until these Games! Also, Allyson Felix, the U.S. women’s soccer team, the U.S. women’s volleyball team, and others are among the athletes that we didn’t watch, but whose victories were remarkable.