Where Are the Female Faces of the Olympics?

As the 2012 summer Olympics held in London rapidly approach, female participation in many athletic events is still scarce.  During a three-day conference held in downtown Los Angeles, the International Olympic Committee and London’s Olympic committee, known as LOCOG, joined together to discuss women’s involvement in the sporting  event.  To date, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Brunei never sent a woman athlete to the Olympic Games. According to the LOCOG chairman, Sebastian Coe, women should be participating in every sporting event.

In an article written by Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times, Elliot found that during the 2008 Beijing summer games 42.4 percent were female athletes and during the 2010 Vancouver winter games 40.7 percent of women participated.  

The conference drew about 800 delegates from 140 countries to discuss educational, economic, and legal opportunities for women involved in the Olympic Games. Each delegate will use the information he or she has learned to educate young girls and women in their own homelands. Currently, half of the committee’s 3,000 members are women. These women served in an array of senior positions, such as director of strategic programs, director of sports, general counsel, and human resources. Each position is vital to the progression of the Olympic planning.  This is no coincidence. According to Coe it is necessary. 

“Including women at high levels ‘is not a ‘nice-to-have.’ It’s absolutely essential for the proper governance of an organization,” Coe said in an article in The Sacramento Bee.

The chair of the IOC’s Women and Sports Commission, Anita DeFrantz believes that women often confront a “fear barrier” that discourages them from applying for executive positions simply because they’re not accustomed to losing. DeFrantz feels that the only way to break down this barrier is to confront the issue at hand and overcome it. The Olympic games will be held in London from July 27-August 12.

To read more about this issue and the conference: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/18/4273180/olympic-leader-stresses-womens.html#storylink=cpy


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