Back left
Back right

Women in Sports Timeline

Mar 10, 2008

March is Women's History Month! Kidzworld pays tribute to the ladies by taking a look at some of the biggest moments in women's sports history

776 BCE - The first Olympics are held in ancient Greece, but women are excluded so they compete in their own competition called the Games of Hera/

1900 - Women are first allowed to compete in the Olympics, though only in tennis, golf, and croquet.

1948 - Alice Coachman becomes the first African American female to win an Olympic event. Coachman won gold in the high jump during the 1948 Olympic Games in London.

1953 - Mamie "Peanut" Johnson became the first female pitcher to play in the Negro Baseball League. She played for the Indianapolis Clowns for two years and compiled an impressive 33-8 record while batting .273.

1964 - Russian speed skater Lydia Skoblikova became the first woman to win four gold medals in the Winter Olympic Games. Skoblikova completely dominated the 1964 Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria. She was also the first person to win six total gold medals - the other two she won in the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, U.S.A.

1973 - Tennis sensation Billy Jean King defeats former Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes." Riggs was a top player in the 1930s and 40s, while King had dominated women's tennis winning 11 Grand Slams from 1966-74. In 1972, Billy Jean was named the Sportswoman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. It was the first time the honor was given to a woman.

1977 - Lusia "Lucy" Harris became the first and only woman to ever be drafted by an NBA team. The New Orleans Jazz selected the Delta State University standout in the seventh round of the 1977 Draft.

1992 - Manon Rheaume became the first female to play in the NHL. The Canadian-born goaltender played two preseason games for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1993. She went on to play for various minor league teams and won a silver medal in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan.

1997 - The WNBA is formed. The women's professional basketball league started off with eight teams and has since grown to 14 teams today.

1999 - Brandi Chastain and the rest of the U.S. National Soccer Team gave women's soccer worldwide attention during the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. The famous tournament was held in Los Angeles and the home team played inspired soccer as they unexpectedly made the finals. In the finals, Chastain kicked in a game-winning penalty kick against China to win the World Cup! She threw off her shirt in celebration!

2002 - Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks became the first female in WNBA history to dunk a basketball during a game.

2003 - Annika Sorenstam became the first woman golfer to play in a men's PGA tour event since 1945. Sorenstam is one of the greatest female golfers in history, she has won 70 LPGA tournaments in her career.

2004 - Candace Parker, a female high school basketball star, became the first woman to win the slam dunk contest at the McDonald's All American Game.

2005 - Race car driver, Danica Patrick, became only the fourth female in history to qualify for the Indy 500. She was named the Rookie of the Year for both the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series in the 2005 season.

Related Stories: