To peruse the history of the Olympic Games is to find no shortage of women who have changed the face of sport as we know it. Even on home soil, the likes of Cathy Freeman and Dawn Fraser made us believe that anything is possible. But while there might be a plethora of female Olympians to inspire the next generation, the path for equality at the Olympics was hard-fought. It wasn’t until the Paris Games in 1900 that women competed in the Olympics for the first time, with just 22 females out of the 997 athletes competing across five sports: tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrianism and golf. We’ve since come along way and for the Aussie Olympic team set to test their mettle against the best in Tokyo, 254 of the 472-member athlete team are women - the greatest number of female athletes to ever compete for Australia.
As the next crop of Olympic hopefuls gear up for the long-anticipated Tokyo 2020 Games, we look back at some of the most incredible and iconic moments for women at the Olympic Games over the years, from the surprising victories to acts of camaraderie that highlight what sport is all about. Across a range of sporting disciplines and events, these women represent all there is to love about the Olympic Games: unwavering dedication, passion, and a willingness to push themselves beyond what they thought possible. Time and time again, the biggest event on the sporting calendar delivers in terms of iconic moments and inspiring athletes, instilling a belief in the next generation that anything is possible as long as you want it enough and work hard to achieve it.