WOMEN IN THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT
The Ancient Olympics in Greece was held during Zenobia's time. We can imagine with her competitive nature she may have wanted to participate. However, women were prohibited from directly competing in the events. They were allowed to enter horses in chariot races. These women were banned from driving the chariots themselves, but as owners and trainers they were still eligible to claim the victory wreath.
Cynisca, a princess of Sparta was the first woman in history to win at the Ancient Olympic Games. The Spartan princess is frequently used as a symbolic figure of the social rise of woman.
As the PyeongChang Winter Olympics begin let's look back at some of the progress that has been made. Women participated in the first Winter Olympics in 1924. Among the 258 athletes lining up at the start of the first Winter Olympics held in Chamonix, only 11 were female, all of them figure skaters. Gradually participation continued to increase reaching 20% by 1960. Events that were once considered masculine were added; ice hockey opened to women’s participation by 1998 and in 2002 bobsled for women was added. In 2014 women represented 40% of the participants in the Olympic Winter Games.
The 2018 U.S. Olympic Team is comprised of 244 athletes (135 men, 109 women).
Women are making history and we know Zenobia would be proud of all the progress!