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Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

I came across this interesting article in the New York Times. It turns out wrestling has been a growing sport for women for the last twenty years. Girls are walking out onto the mat everyday across America, standing up, and utilizing their right to wrestle. According to the article, Women Want to Wrestle; Small Colleges Oblige,

“The inclusion of women’s wrestling in the Olympics beginning in 2004 provided a huge boost to the sport’s popularity and credibility. Five thousand girls nationwide wrestled in high school in the 2006-7 academic year, yet only eight colleges offer it as a varsity sport. Three of those eight programs are starting this fall.”

The more girls that wrestle in high school, the more girls that want to wrestle in college, and the more girls that move on to compete in the Olympics. The sport is growing, and it would be a shame for the girls to be limited or shut out of competing, because their university or institution did not have a women’s wrestling program. Wrestling has been under attack by opposers of Title IX. Unfortunately, wrestling is a sport that regularly gets cut in order for colleges and institutions to comply with Title IX rules and regulations. One supporter of women’s rights to wrestle has a great solution to everyone’s problems! Joey’s Wrestling room is a page dedicated to women’s wrestling. In “History of Wrestling” he states,

“At the collegiate level women’s wrestling is an ideal choice for creating new opportunities for women. In fact, women’s wrestling fits the NCAA criteria for emerging sports programs. Many schools that support a men’s wrestling program are out of compliance with Title IX – and money is always a factor. Adding women’s wrestling to an athletic program can save the athletic budget alot of money. Think about it. The coaches, the equipment, and the facilities are all in place. All that is needed is singlets and travel expenses. Economically it is the smart choice.”

Pretty Tough has already started to highlight the immerging sport of women’s wrestling. In a blog posted she states some of the facts about the sport:

  • “About 4000 girls wrestle at the high school level in the U.S. (compared to 239,000 boys), according to the USA Wrestling Association.
  • High school girls’ wrestling has only been sanctioned in two states: Hawaii and Texas (both since 1999).
  • Until girls’ wrestling teams are numerous enough to get state sanctioning, girls have to compete at informal divisions or meets instead of state tournaments�or compete against boys. In 2005, there were 17 girls who qualified for boys’ high school state tournaments around the country, and six of those girls placed.
  • The U.S. Girls Wrestling Association claims to be the future of the sport. They provide information of USGWA tournaments and events, as well as a discussion forum for female wrestlers and coaches.”
  • Hopefully in the next couple of years we will begin to see an increase in women’s wrestling and less cutbacks of men’s programs. After a highly publicized summer Olympics I don’t recall any coverage of women’s wrestling. Guess we have a ways to go.

    CORREECTION: (by Megan Hueter)

    Wrestling has not been under attack of the opposers of Title IX. The only thing that COULD BE criticized by wrestling coaches is the opportunity for women’s wrestling to be classified as an “emerging sport.” Wrestling has not made the NCAA’s seven-sport list to be classified as “emerging,” so there is really no argument here.

    Above, when I saw “wrestling coaches,” I am not referring to ALL wrestling coaches. I am referring to some (and it is coming directly from the New York Times),

    “Dozens of men’s teams have been eliminated over the past three decades, a phenomenon many coaches attribute to Title IX.”

    As you can see, it’s clear they are critics of the law. However, it’s not Title IX that has eliminated those programs. It’s the institutions and their decisions to distribute funds to other men’s programs which they may deem more valuable. (which is unfortunate)

    Also, to note, it’s not Title IX that is not allowing women’s wrestling to be classified as an emerging sport. It’s the NCAA. The problem is not with the law (it’s a good law that has created millions of opportunities for female athletes). The problem is with the institutions that govern the law and the politics that surround those decisions. It’s unfortunate for men AND women (sometimes) that this is the case.

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    With the European Table Tennis championships having occurred in St.Petersburg, Russia  yesterday, I thought it’d be fitting to post a YouTube video I found on the sport, titled, “A Tribute to Women’s Table Tennis.”

    I’ve never seen pro women’s table tennis before. I know it existed in the Olympics, but never was able to catch it live on television.

    Looking at this video, I think it’s safe to say that this is a cool sport and these women are far more than simply talented.

    Check it out:

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    Right off the plane from willing the Olympic Gold Medal Beijing’s Volleyball championship, Misty May-Treanor was enrolled in Dancing With the Stars. She debuted this week. Check out this video on YouTube:

    Her participation in Dancing With the Stars shows that popular culture is valuing the contribution that May-Treanor and Walsh have made upon our society. It’s really exciting to see her out there. It’s also exciting that May-Treanor can be seen as Pretty and Tough at the same time.

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    Only two things can get 150 U.S. Olympic stars in one city at one time: the actual Olympics, and, of course, the most powerful woman in the world: Oprah.

    Oprah’s season premier couldn’t have been staged any better as she called for the country’s greatest athletes together for a “welcome home” celebration on her show in Chicago. Supposedly, the spectacle drew a crowd that stretched around nearly six city blocks.

    Accourding to Pretty Tough, Oprah welcomed gold medalists Nastia Liukin, Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh, Lisa Leslie, Candace Parker and members of the gold medal Women’s Basketball Team, cyclist Kristin Armstrong and fencer Mariel Zagunis. Also, silver medalist Jennie Finch & members of the Women’s Olympic Softball Team, the silver medal Women’s Water Polo Team, and more.

    The show is said to air on Monday.

    Check out this AP story for more information:

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    I Tivo’d this episode of Ellen last night to catch Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. Found it on YouTube today.

    Something I find particularly interesting is our culture’s obsession with them wearing baithing suits (barely nothing). And Ellen makes a point to bring up that Kerri smacks Misty May on the butt when they do well.

    Is that really what people are interested in?

    Regardless, Ellen is hilarious, and this is a cute feature. Enjoy!

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    Yesterday morning, Erin Donohue ran in a big, BIG race: the 1500m qualifier. Maybe it was all the hype, maybe it was all the attention, or maybe she just wanted it too much. Regardless, her Olympic performance ended on the track in Beijing yesterday, as she finished eighth. She needed to be in the top three to advance.

    After the race, it was clear that she was disappointed. As reported in the Baxter Bulletin,

    “I really wanted to perform well here. Maybe that was part of the problem,” she said. “I really wanted it bad.”

    She was in the top four, on the rail, but didn’t close as planned. She collided with Kenya’s Viola Kibiwott in the home straightaway. However, these type of things are to be expected.

    At 5-foot-7 and 143 punds, Donohue is bigger than most other milers, so she said she doesn’t mind physical races.

    She said,

    “You can’t be surprised when all these girls come up on you,” Donohue said. “You’ve got to be ready to get out and go. I didn’t have it to go. Maybe I’m not as fit as I thought I was.“

    Donohue will stay in Beijing until Sunday, but only for closing ceremonies. I think it’s important for Erin (and the rest of NJ) to focus on what’s important –  not winning. but taking part.

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    I just heard some shocking news… USA softball LOST to Japan, 3-1 today. Japan took gold; USA took silver.

    This is the first lost for USA softball since January 2000. According to an article I read on Newser, this is the sport’s last appearance in the Olympics for at least 8 years. The Americans’ dominance was part of the reason the International Olympic Committee decided to drop the sport from future Games.

    I think now maybe the IOC should reconsider their decision. Seems like this sport can be won by even the littlest of countries, which makes it great to watch.

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