When Women Were Denied From The Olympics, A Women's-Only Version Emerged

The modern Olympic Games haven't always been as welcoming and apolitical as they are today. In the early days of the games, women made up a very small percentage of the athletes, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) only allowed women to compete in a few events. In the 1900 Olympics, only 22 women participated. After the 1912 Stockholm Games, IOC President Baron Pierre de Coubertin and his IOC colleagues expressed the belief that "an Olympiad with females would be impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic and improper." The French athlete and activist Alice Milliat wasn't about to settle for that. Milliat founded the Fédération Sportive Féminine Internationale in 1921, and the group immediately decided to establish a women's Olympic Games as an alternative to the male-dominated competition. Four Women's World Games were held, the first in 1922 in Paris; then 1926 in Gothenburg, Sweden; then 1930 in Prague; and finally in 1934 in London. The participants came mostly from North America, Western Europe, and Japan. Hear the whole story in the video below.

History Of Women At The Olympic Games

They had a rough start...

The Women's Olympiad Of 1922

Alice Milliat organized this annual event as a precursor to the Women's World Games.

Competitions That Are No Longer In The Olympics

Women are in, but these contests (town planning!) are out.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Water motorsports involved motorboat drivers racing one another. 00:54

  2. Architectural design and town planning both used to be Olympic events. 02:59

  3. The sculpture competition category included three subgroups: statues, reliefs, and plaques and medals. 05:12

Written by Curiosity Staff August 16, 2016

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