“Impractical, uninteresting, ungainly … and improper.” That was the view Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, had of women participating at the Games.
In terms of gender equality, the Olympic movement has made massive strides since 1896, albeit incrementally.
Women were first allowed in track and field at the 1928 Summer Games in Amsterdam, but it wasn’t until 1984 that they were able to compete in the marathon. It would take another 20 years until women’s wrestling was added to the Olympic menu.
This summer in Beijing, there will be more women competing than ever before.
But there are still a few hurdles to overcome.
Women do not compete in all sports (canoeing, boxing) and have limited categories in others. Many countries still have disproportionate ratios of male to female competitors and female representation on the International Olympic Committee is scarce.
Do you believe women have achieved equality at the Olympic Games? If not, what can the IOC and its member countries do to increase the profile of women in sport?