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Record women’s participation


With more than 42 per cent female athletes, Beijing sets a new record for women’s participation in Olympic Games. Out of 11,196 total athletes, there are 4,746 women currently giving their best across various Olympic sports. Women’s participation in the Olympic Games has grown increasingly, particularly within the last two decades.

Women in the spotlight
The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games kicked off with 63 female flag bearers leading their delegations into the Olympic stadium during the Opening Ceremony on 8 August. On 9 August, Katerina Emmons from the Czech Republic became the first woman to win a gold medal in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games by winning the women’s 10m air rifle event in shooting. Among the female competitors in Beijing, the female athletes from Europe have won most of the medals so far, followed by their Asian counterparts.

From Rome to Beijing
Whilst the 611 women who participated in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome represented just 11.5 per cent of the athletes, women’s participation had leaped to represent close to 22 per cent by the Olympic Games in 1980 in Moscow. At the Sydney Games in 2000, the number of female athletes reached more than 38 per cent, with 4,069 women of a total of 10,651 athletes. Athens, four years later, saw 4,306 female athletes competing out of a total of 10,568. In 2004, women were in the spotlight in no less than 135 events and in 26 of the 28 Olympic sports. In Beijing, women will compete in the same number of sports but in 137 events.


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