Female Olympic Champions: Sportswomen who made history

Female Olympic Champions: Sportswomen who made history
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Female Olympic Champions: Sportswomen who made history

How many Olympic champions can you name?  OK, so how many female Olympic champions?

If you know more than a handful, then you're doing well!  Although a lot of sportswomen aren't so well known to the public, they more than deserve recognition for their Olympic achievements.  

Many of them were pioneers in their discipline, such as French tennis player Suzanne Lenglen and Ukrainian gymnast Larissa Latynina, yet these Olympic stars are forgotten all too soon. That's why we're taking a moment to look back at women who made their mark in the sporting world.

For a long time, the Olympic Games were reserved for men only.  It was only in 1900 that women were allowed to take part, thanks to International Olympic Committee founder Pierre de Coubertin.  That year, only 19 of 1225 competitors were women.

One of them was the mother of all female Olympic champions: British tennis star Charlotte Cooper, who came first place in the tennis singles.
With London 2012 round the corner, we're taking a stroll back in time to revisit some of the iconic names in female sporting history. These are women who made a real mark on the world with their Olympic achievements - and there are plenty more where they came from!

Photo: L. Flessel, B. Fischer, S. Graf, K. Holmes ©montage aufeminin

The London Olympics 2012: Olympic special
Victoria Turk
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