More Women in Sports
- The first international women's archery competition was held in 1931. Janina Spychajowa-Kurkowska of Poland won the women's singles title. She won six more world titles in archery, more than any other man or woman in history.
- Lida Howell of the U.S. won the most archery titles ever. Between 1883 and 1907 she won 17 National Women's Archery Championships.
- Jean Balukas of Brooklyn, New York, began playing billiards when she was 4 years old and won her first national women's championship at age 14 in 1959.
- The Women's Prefessional Billiards Association (WPBA) was formed in 1976 and features such current celebrities as Jeanette Lee, a.k.a. “The Black Widow”, and Allison Fisher, the perennial Player of the Year.
- Conchita Cintron was born in Chile in 1922 and began fighting bulls in Mexico at age 15. During her 13-year career she slew 800 bulls. She retired in 1951.
- The first female professional bullfighter from the United States was Patricia McCormick. She made her debut in the ring on January 20, 1952, in Juarez, Mexico.
- On May 25, 1996, after a victory in Nimes, France, Christina Sanchez became the first woman to achieve the rank of matador in Europe.
- Croquet is believed to be the first outdoor game played by women and the first game in which men and women played together on an equal basis. The game came to the United States from England during the Civil War, and became an overnight hit.
- The first women's croquet championship was held in England in 1869 and was won by a Mrs. Joad.
- The first women's national fencing championship in the United States was held in 1912. Adeline Baylis won the competition.
- From 1932 to 1956 Ellen Muller-Preiss of Austria competed in every Olympic fencing competition. She won the gold medal in 1932 and the bronze from 1936 to 1948.
- In 1920 Marjorie Voohies won the first national tournament for female horseshoe pitchers.
- Women first competed with men in horseback riding in the Olympics in 1952. That year, Lis Hartel, who had retrained herself to ride after recovering from polio, won the silver medal at this event.
- Ruth Hughes Aarons is the only American woman to win the world table tennis championship singles title. She won in 1936.
- Inna Ryskal of the Soviet Union is the only woman to receive four Olympic medals for volleyball: a silver in 1964 and golds in 1968, 1972, and 1976.
- Women's wrestling became a sport in the 2004 Olympics.
Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year
|Year ||Athlete ||Sport|
|1931 ||Helene Madison ||swimming|
|1932 ||Babe Didrikson ||track|
|1933 ||Helen Jacobs ||tennis|
|1934 ||Virginia Van Wie ||golf|
|1935 ||Helen Wills Moody ||tennis|
|1936 ||Helen Stephens ||track|
|1937 ||Katherine Rawls ||swimming|
|1938 ||Patty Berg ||golf|
|1939 ||Alice Marble ||tennis|
|1940 ||Alice Marble ||tennis|
|1941 ||Betty Hicks Newell ||golf|
|1942 ||Gloria Callen ||swimming|
|1943 ||Patty Berg ||golf|
|1944 ||Ann Curtis ||swimming|
|1945 ||Babe Didrikson Zaharias ||golf|
|1946 ||Babe Didrikson Zaharias ||golf|
|1947 ||Babe Didrikson Zaharias ||golf|
|1948 ||Fanny Blankers-Koen ||track|
|1949 ||Marlene Bauer ||golf|
|1950 ||Babe Didrikson Zaharias ||golf|
|1951 ||Maureen Connolly ||tennis|
|1952 ||Maureen Connolly ||tennis|
|1953 ||Maureen Connolly ||tennis|
|1954 ||Babe Didrikson Zaharias ||golf|
|1955 ||Patty Berg ||golf|
|1956 ||Patricia McCormick ||diving|
|1957 ||Althea Gibson ||tennis|
|1958 ||Althea Gibson ||tennis|
|1959 ||Maria Bueno ||tennis|
|1960 ||Wilma Rudolph ||track|
|1961 ||Wilma Rudolph ||track|
|1962 ||Dawn Fraser ||swimming|
|1963 ||Mickey Wright ||golf|
|1964 ||Mickey Wright ||golf|
|1965 ||Kathy Whitworth ||golf|
|1966 ||Kathy Whitworth ||golf|
|1967 ||Billie Jean King ||tennis|
|1968 ||Peggy Fleming ||skating|
|1969 ||Debbie Meyer ||swimming|
|1970 ||Chi Cheng ||track|
|1971 ||Evone Goolagong ||tennis|
|1972 ||Olga Korbut ||gymnastics|
|1973 ||Billie Jean King ||tennis|
|1974 ||Chris Evert ||tennis|
|1975 ||Chris Evert ||tennis|
|1976 ||Nadia Comaneci ||gymnastics|
|1977 ||Chris Evert ||tennis|
|1978 ||Nancy Lopez ||golf|
|1979 ||Tracy Austin ||tennis|
|1980 ||Chris Evert Lloyd ||tennis|
|1981 ||Tracy Austin ||tennis|
|1982 ||Mary Decker Tabb ||track|
|1983 ||Martina Navratilova ||tennis|
|1984 ||Mary Lou Retton ||gymnastics|
|1985 ||Nancy Lopez ||golf|
|1986 ||Martina Navratilova ||tennis|
|1987 ||Jackie Joyner-Kersee ||track|
|1988 ||Florence Griffith Joyner ||track|
|1989 ||Steffi Graf ||tennis|
|1990 ||Beth Daniel ||golf|
|1991 ||Monica Seles ||tennis|
|1992 ||Monica Seles ||tennis|
|1993 ||Sheryl Swoopes ||basketball|
|1994 ||Bonnie Blair ||speed skating|
|1995 ||Rebecca Lobo||basketball|
|1996 ||Amy Van Dyken||swimming|
|1997 ||Martina Hingis||tennis|
|1998 ||Se Ri Pak||golf|
|1999 ||U.S. World Cup Team||soccer|
|2003, 2004, 2005||Annika Sorenstam ||golf|
|2006, 2007||Lorena Ochoa||golf|
American athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias earned more medals, broke more records, and swept more tournaments in more sports than any other athlete, male or female, in the twentieth century. She played forward with the Golden Cyclone Squad, one of the best women's basketball teams in the country. At the 1932 Olympics she won gold medals in javelin throwing, 80-meter hurdles, and the high jump. From 1940 to 1950 she won every available golf title. In 1945 she was named Woman Athlete of the Year by a unanimous poll of Associated Press sportswriters.