The Olympics are in full swing and Tokyo 2021 is proving to be revolutionary for the women involved. From unprecedented stands against unfavourable rules to record wins, here are five news stories about women from the Olympics.
- Thirteen-year-old Momiji Nishiya became the first female gold medalist in the women’s street skateboarding event. The silver and bronze medalists, Rayssa Leal and Funa Nakayama are also under 18; a 13-year-old Rayassa coming in second and 16-year-old Funa third. These three iconic and talented girls constitute one of the youngest podiums in Olympic history.
- The protest by the Norweigan beach handball players may symbolise a turning point for how female athletes dress having opened up a discourse on the true motivations behind the arbitrary imposition of a dress code for the sport. The Norwegian women’s beach handball team was fined 1,500 euros total ($1,700) for “improper clothing,” after a refusal to wear the characteristic midriff-baring tops and bikini bottoms that do not make any practical sense concerning the sport. German gymnasts have also followed suit, choosing to wear more comfortable and practical uniforms for them.
- Simone Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, withdrew from the women’s team gymnastics final on Tuesday to prioritise and cater to her mental health and well-being. The legend at the peak of her sport at 24 made the best decision for herself and her team.
- Nigerian athletes Blessing Okagbare and Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha qualified from their respective heats on Friday in Tokyo, Japan, marking the first time two Nigerians will be racing in the 100m semi-finals since 2012.
- The International Olympic Committee said women’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics is estimated at 49%, up from 45% at Rio, a nearly even split with the men. The Olympics formerly scheduled for Tokyo 2020 (being held currently) was predicted to be the most gender-equal yet with increased female participation.