In the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games there were nearly two female athletes to every three male athletes and forty-four percent of the events were open to women. Although there is still a gap to bridge until there will be equality between female and male athlete participation, the statistics are phenomenal when they are examined from a historical perspective.


In the 1890s, Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France proposed a revival of the Olympic Games. Although his goals for the revival were admirable, promoting the development of amateur sports and bringing together international athletes in the hopes of creating worldwide peace, he excluded women. Coubertin and the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) opposed women’s participation and included them only through claiming that their applause would be apart of the male athletes’ awards.

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