Women S Sport
At the Beijing Olympics, Australian women took home eight of our 14 gold medals. At the Vancouver Winter Games, women won both our golds. Our last tennis Grand Slam champion was a woman, our last golfing World Number One was a woman, our last cricket world champs were women, our last world surfing champ was a woman and our best horses at the moment are all female too.
That last point might seem a trivial addition, but Black Caviar has reminded us all lately that you don’t need dangly wedding tackle to be a sporting superstar. Gai Waterhouse’s mare More Joyous and Mark Kavanagh’s filly Atlantic Jewel both also won emphatically on the weekend, just in case anyone missed the point,
Without question, these three lady steeds are easily the best horses currently racing in Australia. And it’s an interesting coincidence that Black Caviar will lead the equine Aussie charge in England this northern summer, just as our females will do likewise at the London Olympics.
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Welcome to this week’s I Call Bullshit. Yesterday, F1 racer Nico Rosberg was flogged with limp lettuce for bracketing women’s soccer in with watching the Paralympics.
Rosberg was pinned down in an interview about his level of interest in the women’s World Cup, and said he’d probably just watch the finals. “Then you have the Paralympics, which people also watch on TV,” he said.
German defender Saskia Bartusiak was among those who disapproved of his comments.
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In a room full of females, raise the issue of women in sport and you can expect a collective groan and eyes rolling in unison. And, given the facts on sponsorship, media coverage and support, it’s hardly surprising.
Take the Matildas, Australia’s national soccer side. They regularly qualify for the World Cup and the Olympics but still play to half-empty stadiums while making the same commitments as their male counterparts, the Socceroos.
It’s a given perception that women in sport get a raw deal, and arguably the focus for too long has been on their appearance and sex appeal. But over the past few years there’s been a substantial shift in the paradigm of women’s sports coverage. Sponsors and television networks alike are starting to see the value in investing in women.
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Take a bow, Matildas. You’re champions of Asia, and the first team to qualify for the women’s World Cup Finals.
These capable, commanding young Australians gave us a masterclass in adaptability and focus in their Asian Cup Final triumph over North Korea last week. In hostile and deteriorating conditions, against opponents whose government backs them to play full-time, the Matilda’s application of every ounce of their capability, and their flat-out refusal to get beaten, made football history.
The urging of goalkeeper-captain Melissa Barbieri, the raking passes of midfielder Collette McCallum, the intelligent touches of Katie Gill up front, and the lung-busting runs of Clare Polkinghorne over 120 minutes added up to an immense performance that delivered our first Asian silverware, and the respect of a nation.
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YOU would be forgiven for thinking you had front row seats at a Paris fashion runway rather than courtside at this year’s French Open.
The tennis couture displayed by the women has left nothing to the imagination and left fans to ask the question ``Why?’’
Has women’s tennis become so boring that the players feel they have to wear provocative costumes or eye catching—and just plain wrong—outfits to get attention?
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