We’ve spent a lot of time over the past week discussing the Summer Olympics and with last night’s Closing
Circus Ceremonies in London we could spend a few hundred more words deriding the final festivities – and such chastising would be much deserved – but we think we did enough of that on Twitter. Instead, we’d like to spend our respective closing ceremony considering the female athlete in the United States, and we’d like to do so, in unorthodox fashion, with the minimum amount of snark.
During these 2012 Olympic Games we couldn’t help but be struck by the sheer dominance of the USA women – from gymnastics to swimming to soccer to beach volleyball to basketball – and how much our females have moved to the forefront of international competition. Indeed, we heard a fact – perhaps it was from Bob Costas, the Walter Cronkite of the Olympics – that if the United States women comprised a separate country they would place third in the gold medal count. Third. Which is a stunning stat, and should motivate the men (with a few exceptions, including Michael Phelps, David Boudia and the men’s basketball team) to extend a hearty thank you and congratulations and maybe even get down on their knees and propose. But beyond the magnitude of their achievement, the success of the USA women got us thinking about the state of women’s sports in America, how we got here, where it’s going, and, most especially, which female gold medalist do little girls today want to be when they grow up.