Important Female Athletes

Important Female Athletes

Lily Guetzow, Sports Writer

Nowadays, women playing sports is an everyday occurrence, however that was not always the case. It took a group of strong and courageous women to change the world of athletics. Women such as Victoria Roche, Kathrine Switzer, and one of the world’s current greatest athletes, Serena Williams.

Victoria Roche was the first woman to play within a championship winning little league team. While attending the championship, Roche had to stay at a nearby hotel with the wife and daughter of the team’s manager as there were no facilities available for women in the stadium complex. Roche was the leading home run hitter for her team and, every time she stepped up to base within the championship game she scored. Being the first woman to be a part of a championship winning team is obviously an accomplishment, but so is the fact that Roche was the leading home run hitter. Roche also faced challenges such as having to stay off stadium ground, but she still managed to force the men within her league to take her seriously.

Katherine Switzer was the first registered female runner for the Boston marathon. She started her athletic career through being the first woman to run with the men’s cross country team at Syracuse University, where she met Arnie, her future coach. They would train and plan until the day of the marathon which Switzer insisted on wearing lipstick for. After 5 miles the organizers of the marathon noticed Switzer in the race and ran up to her in attempts to try to take away her numbers and stop her from running. The men within the race believed Switzer was treating the marathon as a joke and would give her “the finger” as well as criticize her and ask her when she was going to give up. Regardless of all of this, Switzer finished the marathon, thus making her the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.

Last but definitely not least is Serena Williams, born in 1981, Williams has currently been ranked number one by the Women’s Tennis Association for 319 consecutive weeks. Williams started playing tennis at the young age of three on public courts with her father, but her talent was obvious from the start so she enrolled in the tennis academy of Ricky Macci. Being black and a female, regardless of her undeniable talent, people would not take Williams seriously and often looked down upon her. Williams rose above the hate and prejudice to become one of the most decorated female athletes with 39 titles (23 grand slam, 14 women’s doubles, and 2 mixed doubles).

Though none of these brave women faced an easy path to victory, they sure did make it look easy to win. Victoria Roche, Katherine Switzer, and Serena Williams have and will continue to be role models for young female athletes.