ANY SPORTS FAN WORTH A LICK KNOWS THAT NUMBERS TELL THE REAL STORY. SO WHATaETMS THE TALE OF WOMEN IN SPORTS? READ ON, BASKETBALL BUFFS, FIGURE-SKATING FANATICS AND OLYMPICS OBSESSIVES. WEaETMVE GOT SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE. EVEN CARROM CRAZIES! (FEAR NOTaE"WEaETMLL EXPLAIN.)
ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL
Title IX, the landmark 1972 legislation that banned sex discrimination in public schools, has brought plenty of girls to the playing field. But who knew so many would hit mats, lakes and bowling alleys, too? Female participation in the following high school sports has increased more than a thousandfold since the 1970s and 1980s, so youaETMd better sign your little ones up for judo and canoeing ASAP, lest they be ostracized by the cool kids.
INCREASE IN SPORT PARTICIPATION BY HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS*
*Source: National Federation of State High School Associations
HONORED TO BE HERE
You donaETMt have to be a distinguished decathlete to make it into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. You just have to be ridiculously awesome at whatever you chooseaE"like coaching, filmmaking or bossing people around (okay,
administrating). Here are the disciplines of the dozens of Olympians and other sports figures whoaETMve joined them in the Hall.
US OLYMPIC HALL OF FAME MEMBERSHIP BY SPORT
MEN (TOTAL: 89) WOMEN (TOTAL: 29)
TRACK & FIELD 36% 28%
SWIMMING 9 24
FIGURE SKATING 5 17
ICE HOCKEY 3
GYMNASTICS 3 10
SPEED SKATING 3 3
DIVING 2 7
PARALYMPICS 2 3
BEACH VOLLEYBALL 1
In the WNBAaETMs 12 years, six players have had their numbers retired. ThataETMs .5 per year, compared with 2.52 per year for the NBA (156 retired jerseys since 1946). Hang in there, ladies.
Los Angeles Sparks
*Unretired in June 2006
WINNERaETMS CIRCLE In a nod to four-legged ladies, we asked Allan Carter, historian with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, to rank the top 10 fillies of all time.
1. Regret (raced from 1914 to 1917)
2. Ruffian (1974-75)
3. Miss Woodford (1882-86)
4. Genuine Risk (1979-81)
5. Busher (1944-45, 1947)
6. Gallorette (1944-48)
7. Cicada (1961-64)
8. Personal Ensign (1986-88)
9. Go for Wand (1989-90)
10. Shuvee (1968-71)
Of the 1,400 or so individuals and groups whoaETMve graced Wheaties boxes since 1933, just 6% have represented the fairer sex. The path to morning glory often passes through the Olympics nowadays, but it hasnaETMt always been thus. Circus performers, big-game hunters and aviatorsaE"such as Elinor Smith, the first Wheaties woman, in 1934aE" are among the champions whoaETMve joined Americans for breakfast.
IS THAT PRADA IN YOUR HAND OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO BEAT ME?
Things are looking up for female pros. Sure, they still lag way behind their male counterparts when it comes to prize money in golf, tennis and surfing, but womenaETMs purses are growing more quickly than man bags. Ironically, in figure skating, where women are the marquee draw, the figures are identical. We blame the French judge!
PURSES ROUNDED TO NEAREST HUNDRED THOUSAND PERCENTAGE INCREASE
LPGA $42.8m 49.9
PGA $239.6m 16.6
WTA $56.6m 32.7
ATP $85.5m 24.7
[WOMEN] ASP $472k 47.2
[MEN] ASP $2.9m 25.4
[WOMEN] ISU GRAND PRIX $1.4m 0
[MEN] ISU GRAND PRIX $1.4m 0
JUST DANCE. OR RUN. OR PLAY PAINTBALL!
Apparently, teen girls around the world arenaETMt too busy texting to get moving. According to a 2008 survey conducted by the TRU market research firm, girls ages 14 to 18 regularly engage in sporty activities like samba, cricket and trampolineaE"though not all at the same time, we hope.
Table Tennis 27
*Carrom is a game, sort of a cross between billiards, air hockey and marbles. Looks fun: uscarrom.org.
When swimmer Kirsty Coventry won the 200-meter backstroke last summer in Beijing, she collected the second individual Olympic gold medal in ZimbabweaETMs history. She won the first in 2004, in the same event. With its womenaETMs field hockey team also taking home top honors in 1980, Zimbabwe is one of only seven foreign lands in which women are the sole gold medalists.
(slalom and giant slalom)
Lake Placid 1980
Claudia Poll Ahrens
Track & Field (heptathlon)
Lee Lai Shan
Maria Isabel Urrutia
Maria de Lurdes Mutola
Track & Field (800m)
Want a jumpsuit worn by Danica Patrick? ItaETMll cost you four large. But thataETMs chump change compared with the prices that the most coveted womenaETMs sports memorabilia might fetch, as estimated by the good folks at Heritage Auction Galleries.
1.Mary Lou RettonaETMs 1984 Olympic gold medal, gymnastics all-around: $50,000
2.Martina NavratilovaaETMs Wimbledon trophies: $50,000 each (for singles or doubles play)
3.Cheryl MilleraETMs 1984 Olympic gold for basketball: $25,000
4.Jackie Joyner-KerseeaETMs 1988 Olympic golds: $25,000 for the heptathlon, $22,500 for long jump
5.Brandi ChastainaETMs jersey from the 1999 WomenaETMs World Cup final: $15,000
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