|Greatest U.S. women's sports moments|
Page 2 staff
Take a look at our list, then read how Page 2 readers ranked the best moment in U.S. women's sports. Then be sure to vote in the poll to crown No. 1 U.S. women's sports moment.
1. President Nixon signs Title IX into law (July 23, 1972)
2. Billie Jean King wins the Battle of the Sexes (Sept. 20, 1973)
3. The United States defeats China to win 1999 World Cup
Mia Hamm, Briana Scurry, Michelle Akers, Tiffeny Milbrett, et al savor the unprecedented attention they receive during the six-game march to the title. "It's like somebody let the secret out of the box, and all the sudden everybody's following us around, screaming for autographs, sticking cameras in our faces," says Akers.
Rudolph, who had been hobbled by polio as a child, simply dominates women's track at the 1960 Rome Games and shows the world ... well, mostly what she looks like from behind. In the 100 meters, she sets a world record in the semifinals, and wins gold. She sets an Olympic record and takes another gold in the 200 meters. Then Rudolph tops off her remarkable performance by anchoring a 400-meter relay team to a come-from-behind victory over Germany in the finals to take gold (the relay team also sets a world record in the semifinals).
Rudolph uses her victories and her popularity (she's mobbed by fans in Europe) to strike a blow for civil rights, refusing to attend a segregated welcome home event planned by Tennessee Gov. Buford Ellington. She does, though, attend ceremonies in her honor in her hometown of Clarksville. They are the first integrated events in the town's history.
5. Maria Pepe plays Little League baseball (1972)
That ends Pepe's Little League career, but the National Organization for Women (NOW) sues Little League Baseball on her behalf, and in 1974 the New Jersey Superior Court rules that girls must to be allowed to play. It doesn't take long for them to make a difference -- in 1974, Bunny Taylor becomes the first girl to pitch a no-hitter. About 50,000 girls now officially play Little League baseball each season.
On June 13, 1976, Muldowney, a National Hot Rod Association veteran, becomes, at the Spring Nationals, the first woman to win a national NHRA event. Muldowney is voted Top Fuel Driver of the Year for 1976.
On May 29, 1977, Guthrie becomes the first woman to drive in the Indy 500, and the same year is also the first woman to compete in the Daytona 500 (she is named top rookie at Daytona).
On June 5, 1993, Krone becomes the only woman ever to win a Triple Crown event, riding Colonial Affair to victory in the Belmont Stakes. Krone retires from riding in the late 1990s with 3,546 victories.
7. Amelia Earhart flies solo nonstop across the Atlantic (May 20-21, 1932)
Earhart goes on to set a slew of other aviation records, including the first solo flight by a woman across the U.S. (Los Angeles to Newark, also in 1932). Some 22,000 miles into her 1937 around-the-world flight attempt, which began in Miami, Earhart stops in New Guinea for fuel. She is declared lost at sea on July 18, 1937, and is never seen again.
8. Katherine Switzer runs in disguise in Boston Marathon (April 19, 1967)
(The year before, Roberta Gibb had made headlines as the first woman to run Boston, but she did so unofficially, hiding in the bushes before the start and running without a number. She finished in 3:21.)
In 1972, women are finally allowed to run the race without subterfuge. Nina Kuscsik wins the first official women's title.
Didrikson, the entire Employers Casualty Company representative, wins the AAU track and field team championship single-handedly, winning six events in three hours and setting world records in the javelin, 80-meter hurdles, high jump and baseball throw.
Didrikson goes on to win two gold medals at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles and then turns to golf, which she dominates as both an amateur and a pro. She co-founds the LPGA, captures 10 major championships, and wows spectators with her 250-yard drives. When asked how she does it, she says, "You've got to loosen your girdle and let it rip."
10. Huskies hoopsters go undefeated, capture 2002 NCAA title (March 31, 2002)
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