The Best Moments Where Women Soared at the Beijing Olympics

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Women at this year’s Olympic Games showed up and out in Beijing, raking in win after win and showing young women in sports all around the world what wonders athletes can accomplish.

In addition to nearly half of the athletes being women (45.4%) on both Team USA and Canada, the teams broke the record for having the “most women from one nation to compete at a single Winter Olympics,” reports NBC. The network also notes that the U.S. has broken the women’s participation record at a whopping 11 consecutive Winter Olympics, starting with the 1984 Games.

Other incredible and notable moments from women at this year’s Games include:

Four-time Olympian Elana Meyers Taylor became the most decorated female bobsledder in Olympic history, most decorated U.S. bobsledder of any gender, and most decorated Black athlete in Winter Olympics history. After testing positive for COVID shortly after arriving in Beijing, Taylor missed out on the honor of carrying the opening ceremony flag for Team USA. After collecting not one but two medals in Beijing (and breaking all the records), she was given the chance to carry the Team USA flag during the closing ceremony.

American speedskater Erin Jackson won gold in the women's 500-meter competition and, like Taylor, also made history for Black women. Jackson became the first Black woman to medal in speedskating at a Winter Olympics and the first woman since 1994 to take the top of the podium.

German speed skater Claudia Pechstein competed in the women’s 3000 meter at 49 years old, the oldest woman to compete at a Winter Olympics. As if that feat wasn’t impressive enough, she’s also only the second athlete in history — and only woman! — to take part in eight Winter Games. The nine-time Olympic medalist made her Olympic debut in 1992 in France.

American cross-country skier Jessie Diggins made history when she took home the silver in the women's 30-kilometer freestyle, becoming the first non-European athlete to medal in the event and the first American to win multiple cross-country medals in the same Olympics, according to a Team USA press release. Now the most decorated American in cross-country skiing, Diggins’ win was even more impressive considering it happened 30 hours after the athlete had food poisoning.

Tags: female athletes, olympics

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Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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