CHARLOTTE REMENYIK by Molly Schiot

Charlotte Remenyik was born on Sept. 5, 1934, in Hungary, an only child to parents of the upper middle class of that country. She learned to fence at a young age. In an interview conducted by OSU Quest in 1981 she said: “I love sabre fencing the best…Although they don’t allow women to compete in sabre or epée, only foil, that is what I grew up with in Hungary—in Transylvania. My cousins, all boys, would come home from military school on vacation, and they would practice their sabre fencing. I was the youngest cousin and the only girl, and they would say, ‘No, Charlotte, you cannot do that. You are a girl, and you are too small.’ I guess that irked me enough to go out and learn sabre.” In 1978 Charlotte Remenyik came to Ohio State to coach the OSU women.  In the fall of 1980 she made OSU history by becoming the first woman to coach a men’s varsity team—and as the first woman to coach both the men and the women concurrently.

Charlotte Remenyik was born on Sept. 5, 1934, in Hungary, an only child to parents of the upper middle class of that country. She learned to fence at a young age. In an interview conducted by OSU Quest in 1981 she said: “I love sabre fencing the best…Although they don’t allow women to compete in sabre or epée, only foil, that is what I grew up with in Hungary—in Transylvania. My cousins, all boys, would come home from military school on vacation, and they would practice their sabre fencing. I was the youngest cousin and the only girl, and they would say, ‘No, Charlotte, you cannot do that. You are a girl, and you are too small.’ I guess that irked me enough to go out and learn sabre.” In 1978 Charlotte Remenyik came to Ohio State to coach the OSU women.  In the fall of 1980 she made OSU history by becoming the first woman to coach a men’s varsity team—and as the first woman to coach both the men and the women concurrently.

PENNY PITOU by Molly Schiot

The first American to win an Olympic medal in downhill skiing, Pitou took home two silver medals at the 1960 Olympic Games.  As a high school freshman, Pitou ignored the 'no girls allowed' policy for the school's skiing team, hiding her hair under her helmet and going by the name 'Tommy'.  Pitou made the boys' team, competing in several races until her helmet flew off in a crash, blowing her cover. Pitou continued to train, making the U.S. Olympics Ski Team at 17 and being mentored by fellow American Andrea Mead Lawrence. Following her skiing career, Pitou worked as a fashion consultant in the ski industry and established training schools in New England.  Hilary Clinton has credited Pitou with teaching her to ski. Today, Pitou's eponymous travel agency, Penny Pitou Travel, leads skiing expeditions and tours throughout Europe.

The first American to win an Olympic medal in downhill skiing, Pitou took home two silver medals at the 1960 Olympic Games.  As a high school freshman, Pitou ignored the 'no girls allowed' policy for the school's skiing team, hiding her hair under her helmet and going by the name 'Tommy'.  Pitou made the boys' team, competing in several races until her helmet flew off in a crash, blowing her cover. Pitou continued to train, making the U.S. Olympics Ski Team at 17 and being mentored by fellow American Andrea Mead Lawrence. Following her skiing career, Pitou worked as a fashion consultant in the ski industry and established training schools in New England.  Hilary Clinton has credited Pitou with teaching her to ski. Today, Pitou's eponymous travel agency, Penny Pitou Travel, leads skiing expeditions and tours throughout Europe.

JULIE KRONE by Molly Schiot

  It's a shame that Julie Krone is thought of as a great "female" jockey because this tag never affected her despite the sexism she would face around the stables and at the track. "I approached the sport like there wasn't a gender issue and I wouldn't participate in the mindset of 'she is just a girl,'" says Krone, who retired in April of 1999 with 3,545 victories and more than $81 million in lifetime earnings.  "No matter what any single person has, people are going to single you out and tell you no," Krone says. "My competitive nature drove me on despite all of the naysayers. I had to change my thoughts and not participate in the gender issue on their level. Every time my gender was singled out, I was challenged to beat that issue and prove that I was a great jockey. My perseverance wore down my toughest critics."

 

It's a shame that Julie Krone is thought of as a great "female" jockey because this tag never affected her despite the sexism she would face around the stables and at the track. "I approached the sport like there wasn't a gender issue and I wouldn't participate in the mindset of 'she is just a girl,'" says Krone, who retired in April of 1999 with 3,545 victories and more than $81 million in lifetime earnings.  "No matter what any single person has, people are going to single you out and tell you no," Krone says. "My competitive nature drove me on despite all of the naysayers. I had to change my thoughts and not participate in the gender issue on their level. Every time my gender was singled out, I was challenged to beat that issue and prove that I was a great jockey. My perseverance wore down my toughest critics."

PAT MCCORMICK by Molly Schiot

Growing up in Long Beach California, Pat McCormick established a reputation as a daring athlete, performing dives that few men attempted and that were outlawed for women in international competition until 1952. In 1949 McCormick won her first national championship with a victory in the outdoor platform competition. She dominated the indoor national championships in the springboard and platform events in 1951–55 and won outdoor championships in 1949–51 and 1953–56. At the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, she won gold medals in the platform competition and the springboard. Just five months after giving birth to her son, she qualified for the 1956 Games in Melbourne, Australia, where she defended her titles, again winning gold medals in the springboard and platform. McCormick was the first two-time Olympic winner of both diving events and subsequently was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Growing up in Long Beach California, Pat McCormick established a reputation as a daring athlete, performing dives that few men attempted and that were outlawed for women in international competition until 1952. In 1949 McCormick won her first national championship with a victory in the outdoor platform competition. She dominated the indoor national championships in the springboard and platform events in 1951–55 and won outdoor championships in 1949–51 and 1953–56. At the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, she won gold medals in the platform competition and the springboard. Just five months after giving birth to her son, she qualified for the 1956 Games in Melbourne, Australia, where she defended her titles, again winning gold medals in the springboard and platform. McCormick was the first two-time Olympic winner of both diving events and subsequently was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

LIS HARTEL by Molly Schiot

A seven time Danish dressage champion, Hartel contracted polio at age 23 while pregnant with her second child. Despite being paralyzed from the knees down, Hartel ignored the advice of her doctors and spent three years regaining the use of her limbs and re-learning the sport. In 1952, she became one of the first women to compete against men in Olympic equestrian events, winning a silver medal.  Still suffering the effects of polio, Hartel was unable to mount and dismount on her own - gold medal winner Henri Saint Cyr carried her to the podium for the medal ceremony.  After retiring, Hartel trained young Danish riders and founded Europe's first therapeutic riding center.  In 1994, she became the first Scandinavian inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. 

A seven time Danish dressage champion, Hartel contracted polio at age 23 while pregnant with her second child. Despite being paralyzed from the knees down, Hartel ignored the advice of her doctors and spent three years regaining the use of her limbs and re-learning the sport. In 1952, she became one of the first women to compete against men in Olympic equestrian events, winning a silver medal.  Still suffering the effects of polio, Hartel was unable to mount and dismount on her own - gold medal winner Henri Saint Cyr carried her to the podium for the medal ceremony.  After retiring, Hartel trained young Danish riders and founded Europe's first therapeutic riding center.  In 1994, she became the first Scandinavian inducted into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. 

KAREN KOCH by Molly Schiot

Karen Koch was the first professional female hockey player in North America.Ultimately though her career would be brief. She signed a contract for $40 per game which made her the first professional female hockey player in North AmericaShe would be cut with 10 games left in the season with the official reason that she refused to wear a protective goalie mask.

Karen Koch was the first professional female hockey player in North America.Ultimately though her career would be brief. She signed a contract for $40 per game which made her the first professional female hockey player in North AmericaShe would be cut with 10 games left in the season with the official reason that she refused to wear a protective goalie mask.

JEANNIE LONGO by Molly Schiot

Jeannie Longo is a French racing cyclist, 59-time French champion and 13-time world champion. Longo is still active in cycling as of 2011 and is widely considered one of the greatest female cyclists of all time.

Jeannie Longo is a French racing cyclist, 59-time French champion and 13-time world champion. Longo is still active in cycling as of 2011 and is widely considered one of the greatest female cyclists of all time.

MARTHA HUDSON by Molly Schiot

Martha Hudson, Olympic track and field gold medal winner and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) All-American, was born March 21, 1939, in Georgia. The oldest of three children of a truck driver and a housewife, Hudson began her athletic career as guard for her elementary school basketball team. She loved to race and often beat the neighborhood boys. At Twin City High School a physical education teacher noticed Hudson's natural running ability and encouraged her to concentrate on track instead of basketball. Although her basketball team elected her captain, Hudson began to train and compete for track. At the Tuskegee Relays in Alabama, Hudson, who was only 4 feet 10 inches tall, caught the eye of Edward Stanley Temple, a track coach at Tennessee State University in Nashville for forty-four years. At Temple's invitation, Hudson took part in his summer track clinics from 1955 through 1957, outrunning some of the legendary coach's Tigerbelles. In 1957 she graduated from high school as salutatorian of her class, and she accepted a scholarship to Tennessee State. While at TSU, Hudson (nicknamed "Pee Wee" by a teammate) won the national AAU 100-yard dash, set the 75-yard dash record, and came in second in the 50-yard dash. One of her biggest wins came during the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy, where she ran the first leg of the 400-meter relay against competitors who were all at least six inches taller than she. Hudson and the three other Tigerbelles on the American relay team won the gold medal.Upon returning to the United States, Hudson was treated to a tremendous homecoming. In the TSU auditorium the mayor of Nashville and the governor of Tennessee welcomed the gold medalists. Joking about her stature, Hudson told the large crowd,  "I doubt if ever so much depended on so little," drawing cheers and laughter from the stands.

Martha Hudson, Olympic track and field gold medal winner and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) All-American, was born March 21, 1939, in Georgia. The oldest of three children of a truck driver and a housewife, Hudson began her athletic career as guard for her elementary school basketball team. She loved to race and often beat the neighborhood boys. At Twin City High School a physical education teacher noticed Hudson's natural running ability and encouraged her to concentrate on track instead of basketball. Although her basketball team elected her captain, Hudson began to train and compete for track. At the Tuskegee Relays in Alabama, Hudson, who was only 4 feet 10 inches tall, caught the eye of Edward Stanley Temple, a track coach at Tennessee State University in Nashville for forty-four years. At Temple's invitation, Hudson took part in his summer track clinics from 1955 through 1957, outrunning some of the legendary coach's Tigerbelles. In 1957 she graduated from high school as salutatorian of her class, and she accepted a scholarship to Tennessee State. While at TSU, Hudson (nicknamed "Pee Wee" by a teammate) won the national AAU 100-yard dash, set the 75-yard dash record, and came in second in the 50-yard dash. One of her biggest wins came during the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy, where she ran the first leg of the 400-meter relay against competitors who were all at least six inches taller than she. Hudson and the three other Tigerbelles on the American relay team won the gold medal.Upon returning to the United States, Hudson was treated to a tremendous homecoming. In the TSU auditorium the mayor of Nashville and the governor of Tennessee welcomed the gold medalists. Joking about her stature, Hudson told the large crowd,  "I doubt if ever so much depended on so little," drawing cheers and laughter from the stands.

Inge Sørensen by Molly Schiot

The youngest female swimmer to win an Olympic medal, Danish-born Sørensen took home bronze at the 1936 Olympics. Standing on the podium in Berlin, Sorensen made waves of a different kind when she refused to salute to Hitler. Sørensen was dubbed "Little Captivating Inge" and feted by 30,000 Danish supporters upon arriving back in Copenhagen. Following the Nazi occupation of Denmark in the early 1940s, the image of Sørensen refusing to heil Hitler became a moving symbol of Danish resistance.  After taking a swimming instruction course at age 20, it was determined that Sørensen had violated the amateur rules and was barred from competing in amateur athletics.  Sorensen moved to Sweden where she coached the national team to victory in 1945.  Settling in the US with her husband in the 1950s, Sorensen made three return visits to Denmark, each time travelling the Atlantic in her own boat.

The youngest female swimmer to win an Olympic medal, Danish-born Sørensen took home bronze at the 1936 Olympics. Standing on the podium in Berlin, Sorensen made waves of a different kind when she refused to salute to Hitler. Sørensen was dubbed "Little Captivating Inge" and feted by 30,000 Danish supporters upon arriving back in Copenhagen. Following the Nazi occupation of Denmark in the early 1940s, the image of Sørensen refusing to heil Hitler became a moving symbol of Danish resistance.  After taking a swimming instruction course at age 20, it was determined that Sørensen had violated the amateur rules and was barred from competing in amateur athletics.  Sorensen moved to Sweden where she coached the national team to victory in 1945.  Settling in the US with her husband in the 1950s, Sorensen made three return visits to Denmark, each time travelling the Atlantic in her own boat.

Alexandrine Gibb by Molly Schiot

Athletically gifted Alexandrine Gibb was a member of many Toronto sports teams, including playing left guard for the Toronto Ladies' Maple Leafs basketball team.  An advocate for women's athletics, Gibb lobbied for women to have equal access to sports facilities and was elected President of the Ladies' Ontario Basketball Association and the Toronto Ladies' Athletic Club.  In 1922, Gibb became the only female on the Canadian Amateur Basketball Association's Executive Council, serving as Vice President.  She was chosen to be the manager of the Canadian women's Olympic team in 1928, due in part to "being an outstanding figure in ladies' sports".  The team of six women took home four medals during the Olympics.  That same year, Gibb started working for the Toronto Daily Star, writing a daily column devoted to women's sport.  Her popular column, "No Man's Land of Sport", ran for twelve years, during which time she became the assistant sports editor at the paper and "the most well known women's sports advocate in Canada".  She is credited with persuading Marilyn Bell to swim across Lake Ontario and received a special thank you from Bell upon completing the swim.  Gibb continued to write for the Toronto Daily Star until her passing at age 66 from a heart attack. 

Athletically gifted Alexandrine Gibb was a member of many Toronto sports teams, including playing left guard for the Toronto Ladies' Maple Leafs basketball team.  An advocate for women's athletics, Gibb lobbied for women to have equal access to sports facilities and was elected President of the Ladies' Ontario Basketball Association and the Toronto Ladies' Athletic Club.  In 1922, Gibb became the only female on the Canadian Amateur Basketball Association's Executive Council, serving as Vice President.  She was chosen to be the manager of the Canadian women's Olympic team in 1928, due in part to "being an outstanding figure in ladies' sports".  The team of six women took home four medals during the Olympics.  That same year, Gibb started working for the Toronto Daily Star, writing a daily column devoted to women's sport.  Her popular column, "No Man's Land of Sport", ran for twelve years, during which time she became the assistant sports editor at the paper and "the most well known women's sports advocate in Canada".  She is credited with persuading Marilyn Bell to swim across Lake Ontario and received a special thank you from Bell upon completing the swim.  Gibb continued to write for the Toronto Daily Star until her passing at age 66 from a heart attack. 

VALERIE BRISCO-HOOKS by Molly Schiot

In the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Valerie Brisco-Hooks accomplished what no other athlete, man or woman, had ever done by winning gold medals in 200- and 400-meter races in the same Olympic Games. She capped her starring performance by running a leg on the United States women's 4×400 meter relay team and capturing her third gold medal of the games.Though she was born in the heart of the rural South in Greenwood, Mississippi, Brisco-Hooks moved with her family to the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles—before she entered elementary school. Brisco-Hooks was one of ten children. Her father was a metal worker and her mother taught school. One of Brisco-Hooks's older brothers, Robert, was a star runner at Locke High School in Los Angeles. When she was fourteen, Robert and another brother Melvin were finishing a workout at the Locke High School track when a stray bullet struck Robert. He died later that day. When the police eventually learned who fired the gun, they did not prosecute the shooter because he was only in the ninth grade. He did not have to live with his guilt long, however, as one year and a day later, the boy who shot Robert Brisco was himself shot and killed.The loss of Robert helped her set personal goals and dedicate herself to achieving them. Urged by her high school's track coach to come out for the team, Brisco-Hooks proved to be a standout runner on the same track where her brother was slain. As she said afterwards, "Someone has to carry on the family name, so they chose me."

In the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Valerie Brisco-Hooks accomplished what no other athlete, man or woman, had ever done by winning gold medals in 200- and 400-meter races in the same Olympic Games. She capped her starring performance by running a leg on the United States women's 4×400 meter relay team and capturing her third gold medal of the games.Though she was born in the heart of the rural South in Greenwood, Mississippi, Brisco-Hooks moved with her family to the Watts neighborhood of Los Angelesbefore she entered elementary school. Brisco-Hooks was one of ten children. Her father was a metal worker and her mother taught school. One of Brisco-Hooks's older brothers, Robert, was a star runner at Locke High School in Los Angeles. When she was fourteen, Robert and another brother Melvin were finishing a workout at the Locke High School track when a stray bullet struck Robert. He died later that day. When the police eventually learned who fired the gun, they did not prosecute the shooter because he was only in the ninth grade. He did not have to live with his guilt long, however, as one year and a day later, the boy who shot Robert Brisco was himself shot and killed.The loss of Robert helped her set personal goals and dedicate herself to achieving them. Urged by her high school's track coach to come out for the team, Brisco-Hooks proved to be a standout runner on the same track where her brother was slain. As she said afterwards, "Someone has to carry on the family name, so they chose me."

ISABEL LETHAM by Molly Schiot

Lively and adventurous surfer from Sydney's Freshwater Beach; sometimes referred to as "the mother of Australian surfing." On January 10, 1915, the 15-year-old Isabel Letham rode tandem with surfer and Olympic gold medal swimmer Duke Kahanamoku during one of the Hawaiian's famous wave-riding demonstrations at Freshwater. It was later revealed that the sport had been introduced to Sydney at least four years earlier, but for decades Letham was celebrated as the first native Australian surfer.  Letham died in 1995, and her ashes were scattered just past the surf line at Freshwater.  

Lively and adventurous surfer from Sydney's Freshwater Beach; sometimes referred to as "the mother of Australian surfing." On January 10, 1915, the 15-year-old Isabel Letham rode tandem with surfer and Olympic gold medal swimmer Duke Kahanamoku during one of the Hawaiian's famous wave-riding demonstrations at Freshwater. It was later revealed that the sport had been introduced to Sydney at least four years earlier, but for decades Letham was celebrated as the first native Australian surfer.  Letham died in 1995, and her ashes were scattered just past the surf line at Freshwater.  

OHIO STATE FIELD HOCKEY by Molly Schiot

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s the sport was sponsored by the women’s department of athletics at OSU, which sponsored tournaments. The sport gained Varsity Status in 1971. The sport was officially sanctioned by the Big Ten Conference in 1981, and OSU hosted its first conference later that year.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s the sport was sponsored by the women’s department of athletics at OSU, which sponsored tournaments. The sport gained Varsity Status in 1971. The sport was officially sanctioned by the Big Ten Conference in 1981, and OSU hosted its first conference later that year.

P.T. Usha by Molly Schiot

The "queen of Indian track and field", Usha became the first Indian woman to reach the final of an Olympic event when she made the 400 metres hurdles final at the 1984 Olympics.  In a heartbreaking photo finish, Usha missed the bronze medal by 1/100th of a second, although her time still stands at the Indian national record in the event.  Winner of ten medals at the Asian Games, Usha was named the Best Athlete in Asia four years in a row and Sportsperson of the Century by the Indian Olympic Association.  In her home state of Kerala, Usha established the Usha School of Athletics to help young athletes achieve excellence in a range of athletic pursuits.  One of Usha's pupils, Tintu Luka, recently qualified for the 800m semi-finals at the 2012 Olympics.  

The "queen of Indian track and field", Usha became the first Indian woman to reach the final of an Olympic event when she made the 400 metres hurdles final at the 1984 Olympics.  In a heartbreaking photo finish, Usha missed the bronze medal by 1/100th of a second, although her time still stands at the Indian national record in the event.  Winner of ten medals at the Asian Games, Usha was named the Best Athlete in Asia four years in a row and Sportsperson of the Century by the Indian Olympic Association.  In her home state of Kerala, Usha established the Usha School of Athletics to help young athletes achieve excellence in a range of athletic pursuits.  One of Usha's pupils, Tintu Luka, recently qualified for the 800m semi-finals at the 2012 Olympics.  

TONI STONE by Molly Schiot

Marcenia Lyle Alberga began playing ball when she was only 10 years old. Ss a teenager she played with the local boys' teams in her hometown. During World War II she moved to San Francisco, playing first with an AAGPBL American Legion team, then moving to the San Francisco Sea Lions, a Black, semi-pro barnstorming team; she drove in two runs in her first at-bat. During the 1940's she changed her name to Toni Stone and dropped 10 years off her age to increase her appeal to a men's team. The AAGPBL was segregated throughout it's 12 year existence even though their male counterparts integrated in 1947, their fifth year of play. She didn't feel that the owner was paying her what they'd originally agreed on, so when the team played in New Orleans, she switched and joined the Black Pelicans. From there she went to the New Orleans Creoles, part of the Negro League minors, where she made $300 a month in 1949. The local Black Press reported that she made several unassisted double plays, and batted.265. In 1953, the Indianapolis Clowns, signed Stone to play second base, a position that had been recently vacated when the Boston Braves signed Hank Aaron. This contract made Stone the first woman to play in the Negro Leagues. The Clowns had begun as a gimmick team, much like the Harlem Globetrotters, known as much for their showmanship as their playing. Age had finally caught up to the fleet-footed Stone, and her new teammates and bosses resented her. At the end of the year, she retired. Over the years, many people tried to dissuaded her from the game, including her husband Aurelious Alberga who she married in 1950. He was a well-known San Francisco political player who was some 40 years her senior. After baseball, she worked as a nurse and spent the rest of her retirement life in Oakland. Eventually she earned the respect she'd long deserved from the baseball world. In 1993 she was inducted into the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in Long Island, New York. Toni Stone died on November 2nd 1996.

Marcenia Lyle Alberga began playing ball when she was only 10 years old. Ss a teenager she played with the local boys' teams in her hometown. During World War II she moved to San Francisco, playing first with an AAGPBL American Legion team, then moving to the San Francisco Sea Lions, a Black, semi-pro barnstorming team; she drove in two runs in her first at-bat. During the 1940's she changed her name to Toni Stone and dropped 10 years off her age to increase her appeal to a men's team. The AAGPBL was segregated throughout it's 12 year existence even though their male counterparts integrated in 1947, their fifth year of play. She didn't feel that the owner was paying her what they'd originally agreed on, so when the team played in New Orleans, she switched and joined the Black Pelicans. From there she went to the New Orleans Creoles, part of the Negro League minors, where she made $300 a month in 1949. The local Black Press reported that she made several unassisted double plays, and batted.265. In 1953, the Indianapolis Clowns, signed Stone to play second base, a position that had been recently vacated when the Boston Braves signed Hank Aaron. This contract made Stone the first woman to play in the Negro Leagues. The Clowns had begun as a gimmick team, much like the Harlem Globetrotters, known as much for their showmanship as their playing. Age had finally caught up to the fleet-footed Stone, and her new teammates and bosses resented her. At the end of the year, she retired. Over the years, many people tried to dissuaded her from the game, including her husband Aurelious Alberga who she married in 1950. He was a well-known San Francisco political player who was some 40 years her senior. After baseball, she worked as a nurse and spent the rest of her retirement life in Oakland. Eventually she earned the respect she'd long deserved from the baseball world. In 1993 she was inducted into the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in Long Island, New York. Toni Stone died on November 2nd 1996.

HEATHER McKAY by Molly Schiot

Heather McKay is a retired Australian squash player who is considered by many to be the greatest female player in the history of the game, and possibly also Australia's greatest-ever sportswoman.  She won every women's title at the British Open (the de facto championship) from 1962 until 1977. After retiring from the sport in 1979, McKay turned her sights to racquetball and almost instantly became a sensation, reaching the semifinals of her first invitational tournament without even knowing how the game was played.

Heather McKay is a retired Australian squash player who is considered by many to be the greatest female player in the history of the game, and possibly also Australia's greatest-ever sportswoman.  She won every women's title at the British Open (the de facto championship) from 1962 until 1977. After retiring from the sport in 1979, McKay turned her sights to racquetball and almost instantly became a sensation, reaching the semifinals of her first invitational tournament without even knowing how the game was played.

WESTERN MICHIGAN SOFTBALL - 1978 by Molly Schiot

While women's athletics were recognized in various forms since the early 1960's at Western Michigan, female sports did not join the men's programs in receiving official varsity status through the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics until 1977-78.  Women's sports were funneled through the Physical Education Department in the 1960's and first years of the 1970's.  

While women's athletics were recognized in various forms since the early 1960's at Western Michigan, female sports did not join the men's programs in receiving official varsity status through the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics until 1977-78.  Women's sports were funneled through the Physical Education Department in the 1960's and first years of the 1970's.  

REBECCA TWIGG by Molly Schiot

Rebecca Twigg is an American former racing cyclist , who won six world track cycling championships in the individual pursuit. She also won 16 US championships (the first - the individual time trial - when she was 18) and two Olympic medals, the Silver medal in the 1984 road race in LA, and a Bronze medal in the pursuit in Spain in 1992. Twigg won the first three editions of the Womens Challenge  on the road. Twigg was a three-time Olympian (1984, 1992, and 1996). However, her final Olympic appearance, in Atlanta in 1996, ended in controversy when she quit the team in a disagreement with the coach Chris Carmichael and the US Cycling Federation. The federation had invested in the development of the so-called SuperBike". Twigg, after using the bike earlier in the Games, refused to ride it, citing poor individual fit and claiming that pressure from the staff on her to use the SuperBike and their refusal to grant accreditation to her personal coach left her defocused.

Rebecca Twigg is an American former racing cyclist , who won six world track cycling championships in the individual pursuit. She also won 16 US championships (the first - the individual time trial - when she was 18) and two Olympic medals, the Silver medal in the 1984 road race in LA, and a Bronze medal in the pursuit in Spain in 1992. Twigg won the first three editions of the Womens Challenge  on the road. Twigg was a three-time Olympian (1984, 1992, and 1996). However, her final Olympic appearance, in Atlanta in 1996, ended in controversy when she quit the team in a disagreement with the coach Chris Carmichael and the US Cycling Federation. The federation had invested in the development of the so-called SuperBike". Twigg, after using the bike earlier in the Games, refused to ride it, citing poor individual fit and claiming that pressure from the staff on her to use the SuperBike and their refusal to grant accreditation to her personal coach left her defocused.

Ora Washington by Molly Schiot

Ora Wachington (right) was an American athlete from Philadelphia known as the "Queen of Tennis." In professional tennis she won American tennis Association's national singles title eight times in nine years between 1929 and 1937. Unable to compete against the top white tennis player of the time, Helen Moody, because Moody refused to play her she retired from sports in 1940. For the remainder of her life she supported herself as a housekeeper.  A state historical marker stands at the location of the YWCA that  she taught and played at in Philadelphia.

Ora Wachington (right) was an American athlete from Philadelphia known as the "Queen of Tennis." In professional tennis she won American tennis Association's national singles title eight times in nine years between 1929 and 1937. Unable to compete against the top white tennis player of the time, Helen Moody, because Moody refused to play her she retired from sports in 1940. For the remainder of her life she supported herself as a housekeeper.  A state historical marker stands at the location of the YWCA that  she taught and played at in Philadelphia.