Kathrine Switzer, first woman to run the Boston Marathon

Such an inspiring story:

From Al mighty Girl article:

” Kathrine Switzer’s experience as the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon is a dramatic illustration of the barriers that trailblazing women athletes had to overcome and of how far girls and women in sports have come in only a few decades. Switzer was a 20-year-old college student at Syracuse University in 1967 when she registered for the race using her initials, K.V. Switzer. Not realizing that she was a woman, who were barred from participating in the Boston Marathon for over 70 years, race officials issued her an entry number.

During the race, marathon official Jock Semple attempted to physically remove Switzer from the marathon after discovering she was female. Other runners, including Switzer’s boyfriend Tom Miller, blocked Semple and she was able to complete the marathon. Pictures of the incident and the story of Switzer’s participation in the marathon made global headlines.

After the marathon, Switzer became deeply engaged in efforts to increase girls’ and women’s access to sports and she and other women runners finally convinced the Boston Athletic Association to drop their discriminatory policies and allow women to participate in 1972. By 2011, nearly 43 percent of Boston Marathon entrants were female. Switzer also helped lead the drive for the inclusion of a women’s marathon in the Olympic Games — a victory which was achieved at long last with the first women’s marathon at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Kathreen Switzer 6 degrees

Kathreen Switzer 6 degrees

To read more about Kathrine Switzer’s inspirational story, we recommend her autobiography, “Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women’s Sports,” which you can find at http://amzn.to/1o1607x

To watch a wonderful short Makers interview with Switzer about her experiences breaking barriers in women’s sports, visit http://bit.ly/1jj4pJX

For an excellent resource for teaching tweens and teens about the history of Title IX — the landmark 1972 U.S. civil rights legislation which opened up many athletic opportunities for girls by prohibiting gender discrimination in educational activities –we highly recommend “Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America” for ages 11 and up at http://www.amightygirl.com/let-me-play

To inspire your children with the stories of more female sports trailblazers, visit our “Sports / Games” section at http://www.amightygirl.com/bo…/general-interest/sports-games

For more stories of both real-life and fictional girls and women confronting sexism and prejudice in a multitude of forms, visit our “Gender Discrimination” section at http://www.amightygirl.com/…/soci…/prejudice-discrimination…

And, if your Mighty Girl loves sports, check out our collection of girl-empowering t-shirts and select ‘sports’ from the left menu at http://www.amightygirl.com/clothing

Source and credits for picture and article to:

A Mighty Girl Heroes: Inspiring the next generation of history makers






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