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February 4, 2009

Look Who's Playing!

Today is the annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day. NGWSD began in 1987 as a day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman (who died in 1986 while competing in a tournament in Japan) for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women's sports. Since then, NGWSD has evolved into a day to honor achievements and encourage participation of girls and women in sports... and to address the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.

NGWSD is typically celebrated across the U.S. with community-based events, award ceremonies, and other activities. You can view a calendar of events (by state) here. Each year has a different theme (such as "Play Fair" or "Get in the Game") and the theme for 2009 is "Look Who's Playing".

Now I'm not personally much of an athlete, unless you count having sex or playing "Dance Dance Revolution" on Wii (which are both really great exercise and fun - in different ways - but neither is going to get me to the Olympics). So the best way that I can honor female athletes today is to take a minute to showcase a few right here on the blog.

First off, you should all know what the U.S. women's badminton team has planned for 2009: They're going to Iran. As part of a broad bid to engage the Iranian people through educational and cultural exchanges, the Obama administration's State Department is sending eight players and four coaches to Tehran this week to participate in the Iran Fajr International Badminton Tournament (begins Friday). Past exchanges with Iran have involved athletes from other sports, artists, academics and professionals.

Another amazing female athlete in the news recently is Lindsey Van, 24, one of the world's best ski jumpers. Ski jumping is the last Winter Olympics sport still closed to women, so Van and nine other women from six countries are suing to get into the 2010 games. Van, who has been ski jumping since age 7, currently holds the distance record (for men and women) at the K90 ski jump hill in Whistler, B.C. that was built for the Vancouver Olympics.

The WNBA's website has up an inspiring piece entitled "How Has Sports Impacted Your Life? (Also, for a really great op-ed piece from WNBA President Donna Orender - and some other cool sporty stuff - check out the Athletic Women Blog).

We'd also like to recommend the site Game Changers: Change the Game for Women in Sport.

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1 comment:

David Rice said...

It's always good to see that women are participating in sports.