Canadian Women's swimming team is featured as increase in Women at the Olympic Games.

Winter Olympic Games Sees Increase In Women Participation

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games are right around the corner with Beijing 2022 beginning in early February. Despite growing concerns with the rising cases of the ongoing COVID-19 virus, it appears the Games will be continuing regardless.


While some may not be happy with the decision, for thousands of men and women across this globe, this is their opportunity to shine in their respective sports. Especially so for women’s sports that don’t always get the recognition they deserve outside of the Olympic Games.

Women’s Participation Continue To Hit New High’s

In the above graphic provided by statista, you can see that the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games saw its highest number of women participants in the Olympic Winter Games at 1,169. Quite the dramatic rise is seen in various moments in time but over double the participants in 2018 than 1994 is fantastic to see.

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Of course, it has been a long struggle for women in sport, originally they were not even allowed to be in the Olympics until tennis, golf and sailing opened up for women in 1900 four years after the first Olympiad.

Sports were slowly added through the years all the way up until the 2012 London Summer Games when women were finally allowed to box making it the first time that men and women competed in all Olympic sports. Those Games were also important because Qatar, Brunei and Saudia Arabia sent women athletes resulting in every national Olympic committee having now sent women to the Games.

Historic Women’s Olympic Moments

The first woman to compete in the Olympic Games was Helen de Pourtales of Switzerland when she competed on a mixed team for yachting which took home the gold medal. Meanwhile, the first woman to earn an Olympic medal solely was Charlotte Cooper in tennis for Great Britain.


One of the most iconic sports in the Summer Games is the 100-meter sprint which, along with the other track and field events, was added to the women’s program in 1928. The first Sportsbook of the women’s 100 meters was Betty Robinson of the United States with a time of 12.2.

Many people are familiar with Jesse Owens who struck gold four times in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. It was an important moment not only in sporting history but history in general as this was at a time that Adolf Hitler’s reign of terror was in its very beginning. However, 12 years later, Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands became the first woman to win four gold medals equivalent to Owens but perhaps not as recognized.

Who could also forget Nadia Comaneci in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games in which the Romanian athlete showed us what perfect was as she scored 10’s with her uneven bars performance. In the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Morocco’s Nawal El Moutawakel won the first Olympic gold medal as an Arab Muslim woman as she won the 400 meters hurdle event.

I could only touch on a few here without making this a 10-page epic, I didn’t get to touch on some of the great Canadian women that shone on the Olympic Stage such as Hayley Wickenheiser winning gold medals in four Olympic Games for the women’s hockey team, Clara Hughes, who won medals in both the summer and winter Games and more recently swimmer Penny Oleksiak’s seven medals making her the most decorated Olympian for Canada.

We have reached nearly a 50/50 split for men and women in the Olympic Games. Unfortunately, it took over 100 years but there have been tremendous moments throughout that history and many more to come.