22 January, 2021

Woman Power

In Athens 1896 there were no women; in Atlanta 1996 they are cornering the gold and the glory

Woman Power

SAIBAL CHATTERJEE ATLANTA 1996 was King Carl's Games. There were several sideshows—and resplendently glorious ones at that—authored by the likes of Michael Johnson and Haile Gebrselassie, but they will all almost certainly pale in comparison when, half a century or so from now, historians look back on the exploits of the peerless Carl Lewis, one of the most decorated Olympic athletes of all times.

But one development in Atlanta did match Lewis' long jump into history: the giant leap that the centennial Olympic Games represented for sportswomen. Atlanta 1996 witnessed the addition of a host of new disciplines for women—football, softball, the triple jump, the 5,000 m race, the 4X200 m relay in swimming, among other events. And the Games saw almost 3,000 female participants from 170 nations going for gold and glory. Only a select few succeeded, a large majority returned home empty-handed.

Perhaps, not quite. For, clearly, as numerous members of the 'weaker sex' stamped their undeniable class on the Atlanta Olympics, they won a major...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

More from Saibal Chatterjee

Latest Magazine

January 25, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section