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Women in Sports



Women in Sports
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.74

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    dog-sled, founded, croquet, participate, participation, broadcast, lifetime, timeline, separate, hosts, softball, report, honor, championship, auto, possible
     content words:    Olympic Games, Amanda Clement, Jennie Kelleher, Babe Didrikson, Woman Athlete, Kathryn Johnson, Little League Baseball, European Grand Prix, Anna Lewis, Diana Crump


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Women in Sports
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     It used to seem like sports were just for boys and men. When high school students went to watch a game after school, it was always a boys' team. Anyone who turned on the TV in the evening to watch the sports report would see the latest news about men in sports.
 
2     It is no wonder that everyone believed that sports were for men, not women. It seemed like there were no good women athletes and no important sports stories about women.
 
3     A little research shows that this never was true. Women have participated in sports and physical fitness activities since the time of the ancient Olympic Games. Even though women did not participate in the contests at ancient Olympia, young girls did participate in foot races in separate games in honor of the goddess Hera. The modern Olympics did not include women athletes when it began in 1896, but women did participate in the next Olympics held four years later in 1900 in Paris, France. The nineteen women who entered that year's Olympics competed in tennis, croquet, and golf. Since that year, women's participation in the Olympics has increased steadily. In the 2000 Olympics held in Sydney, Australia, over 4,000 women participated. They competed in 25 of the 28 Olympic sports.
 
4     At the same time that women's participation in the Olympics was growing, women were also taking part in a variety of other sporting events. Here are just a few highlights:
 
5     1904 -- Amanda Clement, age 16, becomes the first paid female umpire at a men's baseball game.
 
6     1930 -- Jennie Kelleher becomes the first woman to bowl a perfect 300 game.
 
7     1932 -- Babe Didrikson is named Woman Athlete of the Year for track and field.
 
8     1950 -- Kathryn Johnson, age 12, is the first girl to play Little League Baseball.

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