Despite losing the WPS, an elite league for women’s soccer, one of the few professional sports leagues for women in the United States, the year has been filled with bright spots and landmark events for female athletes.
The 2012 London Summer Olympics had female athletes compete in every event for the first time in its history. The United States also sent more female athletes than male to the competition for the first time.
Rhonda Rousey, the first American woman to win a medal in Olympic Judo, became the first female fighter to sign with the UFC.
ESPN writer Josh Gross explains, “The UFC had long balked at the prospect of adding women into its fold because of the perception that there wasn’t enough depth to create meaningful weight classes. Rousey’s rising stardom had a significant impact on the way White viewed the potential for female fighters in the UFC.”
Skier Lindsey Vonn is attempting to enter a men’s skiing event in Canada to find stronger competition to develop her skills against. Vonn told the associated press, “I am just trying to push myself and push my skiing forward to where the men are.”
Vonn isn’t the only female athlete challenging men in traditionally male-dominated sports, internet sensation Samantha Gordon has also gained significant attention for her phenomenal football athletics and has drawn many to consider the future women have in the contact sport.