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International Women’s Day. #ChooseToChallenge

Indicating that "a challenged world is an alert world, from challenge comes change", this years International Women's Day is #ChooseToChallenge. See the women in sport that pioneered for change from IMAGO.

March 8. International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is #choosetochallenge.  We at IMAGO took a look back at the Women in sport that have dared to challenge and inspired change.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

Born in 1911, a true pioneer for women’s sports, Babe Didrikson Zaharias set multiple world records, winning two Olympic gold medals in track and field, taking the world of women’s golf by storm and helped to found the LPGA. With aptitude in sports across the field including; basketball, baseball, swimming, diving, golf, volleyball, bowling, track, and more.

In 1932’s American Athletic Union championships she placed first in five events, tied in a sixth, and set four world records.

Gertrude Ederle.

In 1926, Gertrude Ederle rocketed to fame when she became the first woman to swim the English Channel. Ederle, holding 29 amateur national and world records in various freestyle distances, competed in the 1924 Summer olympics in Paris prior to her Channel swim. There she won gold in the 400-meter freestyle relay and two bronze medals in the 100 and 400 freestyle.

Kathrine Switzer.

Known for becoming the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon as an official entrant, in 1967, Kathrine Switzer entered the race under the name “K.V. Switzer” to hide her gender. Two miles in, an official tried to eject her from the course, a famous moment captured in photography.

Billie Jean King.

In 1973, Billie Jean King, the trailblazing tennis star, changed the game. Founding the Women’s Tennis Association, leading a moment for female players to earn equal prize money in mixed tournaments and epitomized her crusade for gender equality when she beat Bobby Riggs, a self-described chauvinist, in the Battle of the Sexes.

Photo: IMAGO / UIGPhoto: IMAGO / UIGPhoto: IMAGO / Everett CollectionPhoto: IMAGO / Everett CollectionPhoto: IMAGO / PCN PhotographyPhoto: IMAGO / ZUMA Press / Keystone

Venus Williams.

In 2007, Wimbledon announced that women’s tennis players would receive equal prize money to the men’s. Tennis great, Venus Williams wrote an essay in The Times of London titled “Wimbledon Has Sent Me a Message: I’m Only a Second Class Champion.”

She made a failed plea the night before she won the title in 2005 and many believe she began the movement for equal pay within the tournament.

THE USA Soccer Team.

The United States women’s soccer team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation, an escalation in their increasingly public battle for equality.

Skylar Diggins-Smith.

The W.N.B.A. All-Star who plays for the Dallas Wings, recently appeared in a commercial to raise awareness about pay inequity.

Jane Couch.

Paving the way for female boxers including; Claressa Shields, Savannah Marshall and Katie Taylor, Jane Couch was fearless and earned her career the hard way. With no money, no respect and no chance to shine on the big stages, Couch, became the first boxer in history to win world titles at three separate weights after just 10 professional fights. She won two consecutive gold medals at the Olympics and fought 78 amateur fights, losing only one.

Maya Moore.

Named “Performer of the Year” in 2017, Sports Illustrated called Moore the greatest winner in the history of women’s basketball. She has since taken a sabbatical to work with charitable, and social reform organizations.

Fallon Sherrock.

Female darts player and the first woman to beat a man at the PDC World Championship.

Becky Hammon.

The first women to act as a Head Coach of an NBA Team. Hammon became the first women to coach a major league team in 2020, leading the San Antonio Spurs after previous coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the first half. She described this career move as “A substantial moment” after her first game in the role.

Ada Hegerberg.

As the five-times Champions League winner, and the competition’s all-time top-scorer, and despite having scored 23 goals in 18 appearances in the first half of last season, she has been omitted from the shortlists for individual awards. Largely known for speaking out against the unequal opportunities for girls and boys to play football Ada stepped back from playing for her Norwegian national team in 2017. Speaking publicly about wanting to see a greater commitment to female football in Normal from the federation she spoke about; women and girls being forced to wait to use pitches, boots arriving for a tournament late and the wrong sizes whilst boys’ teams playing on the best pitches.

Photo: IMAGO / Paul ZimmerPhoto: IMAGO / ZUMA WirePhoto: IMAGO / Mary EvansPhoto: IMAGO / ZUMA WirePhoto: IMAGO / Beautiful SportsPhoto: IMAGO / Christian MangPhoto: IMAGO / Uk Sports Pics Ltd


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