|Greatest U.S. women's sport moments|
From the Page 2 mailbag
Earlier this week, Page 2 listed our top 10 greatest moments in women's sports history, and we asked you to send us your choices.
We hunted through more than 230 e-mails, and here is how Page 2 readers ranked the achievements. Be sure to vote in the poll at right to crown the greatest moment in U.S. women's sports history .
1. U.S. soccer team wins World Cup, 1999 (53 letters)
This is incredible because it's not only a soccer game, which hardly registers a blip on the U.S. sports radar, but it was also a women's sporting event. With seemingly two strikes against it, the U.S. team wowed the entire world and validated Title IX 27 years later.
Hands down, the '99 World Cup title. I don't think any women's sporting event was ever watched with as much respect as that was. I know many males -- myself included -- who have scoffed at female athletics, but that team was amazing in every sense of the word.
The U.S. team beat the world in a sport the United States has never dominated and for this, they attained celebrity status the likes of which few female athletes ever have. The Brandi Chastain commercials with Kevin Garnett. Now Mia Hamm is sponsored by Gatorade and Nike, and she appeared in commercials with Vince Carter, Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter and Michael Jordan for goodness sakes! That game had quite an impact.
When the U.S. women's soccer team won the World Cup, it was the first time that I can remember being completely glued to my TV set and cheering out loud for a women's sporting event. In my household, it became one of those "put dinner on hold, let the kids run amok, and don't answer the phone until the game is over" type days that we usually only have during World Series week.
It gets my vote for the best because it seems that the moments we tab as "the best," are the ones we can replay in our minds over and over again. Who can forget the the penalty kicks and of course, Brandi Chastain's emotional celebration?! Fortunately, this was a spectacular and televised. It's only too bad that we didn't get to witness Babe Didrikson's remarkable feats in the same manner.
2. Nixon signs Title IX, 1972 (33 letters)
As an ex-college wrestler I could look back at title IX as reverse discrimination, but I tend to see it as it is, an opportunity for millions of women to compete and have the same opportunities as men. There is a large amount of controversy surrounding this law in wrestling circles across the nation, but the good it has done for women far outweighs the amount of wrestling programs and other male sports programs that have been dropped. Women have been oppressed for centuries, the price that some male sports have to pay today is a mere pittance to what women have sacrificed through the years.
Nixon has been a political pariah for so many years, that it's only fair he is credited for the good work he did do while in office, including his signing of Title IX. It was not a politically popular move to many of his staunch Republican supporters. Nixon recognized something needed to be done, and while Title IX is an imperfect solution to the problem of gender inequity in athletics, it did more to advance women's sports in the U.S. than any other single event in history. Naming any man, let alone Richard Nixon, as the person responsible for the greatest moment in women's sports history is a bold and controversial move by Page 2 -- and the same could be said of President Nixon's decision to sign Title IX into law.
Not only did it impact the sports world, it affected society as a whole. Women's rights in the workplace, the well intentioned, but ill fated ERA amendment, and countless other women's movements that sprang into life in the mid 1970s. Title IX may not have passed had the King-Riggs outcome been different. Her victory transcended mere tennis, and changed the world as we know it.
Virginia Beach, Va.
Billie Jean King beating the tar out of big mouthed Bobby Riggs at the Astrodome. It signaled the advent of women into the world of professional sports on TV.
4. Kerri Strug vaults to victory, 1996 (23 letters)
The most memorable moment by a U.S. female happened at the Atlanta Games. A gymnast stuck the landing on a broken ankle! Truly inspiring in an age where NBA players will miss three games due to "Nintendo thumb."
5. UConn women's hoopsters go 35-0, 1995 (21 letters)
Women play College basketball in Connecticut. Yep. They also charm David Letterman, front the cover of Sports Illustrated, captivate the nation, and lay the foundation of the next great women's sports dynasty.
The Huskies were the underdog in '95 (the '98 Lady Vols and '02 Huskies weren't much of a surprise). The team brought a lot of attention to the game, increasing interest in '96 Olympic women's basketball, and eventually giving rise to the inception of the ABL and WNBA.
6. Williams sisters dominate U.S. Open, 2001 (18 letters)
All of these are great moments, but I have always been impressed with Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias. Along with her track accomplishments and her 10 Golf majors (and 31 championships), she was an All-American basketball player, and a superior diver, roller skater, boxer, bowler, and tennis player. She was also a great baseball player -- her world record throw was 296 feet -- and she earned the nickname "Babe" by hitting 5 home runs in a game. She is truly among the greatest multisport athletes of all time.
New Hope, Minn.
8. U.S. softball team takes gold in Atlanta, 1996 (16 letters)
9. U.S. hockey team wins Gold, 1998 (12 letters)
U.S. women's hockey team takes the Gold in Nagano ... hands down. Most people didn't follow women's hockey before Nagano (or during, for that matter). Those of us that did, viewed Canada as something akin to the Soviet dynasty that ruled the men's game for so long. Frankly, we would have been happy with the silver. Silver just wasn't enough for that team though, and they shook up the world, stunning Canada in both Olympic matches.
10. Wilma Rudolph races toward three gold medals, 1960 (11 letters)