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Women's Olympic History - 1928

1928 Amsterdam, Netherlands

Photos will feature vintage trading cards, whenever possible.

Women’s participation in the ’28 Olympics was nearly 10%.

Enter track and field for women! This is the first Olympics where track was offered and there were five events that they could compete in: 100m, 800m 4x100m, high jump, and discus. Betty Robinson (pictured) won the first US gold medal in track in the100m. The 800 m was hosted for the first time and didn’t return until 1960! Between 1928 and 1960, the longest distance women could run was 200m. The rumor that was spread for decades was that half the women couldn’t finish the race and those that did, collapsed at the end. It was therefore considered too difficult for women. This, however, was false. After extensive research into the race, Roger Robinson of Runner’s World magazine, found this to be a flat out lie.

Diving: US women won five out of six medals in the 3m springboard and 10m platform diving. American Dorthy Poynton won silver (pictured).

Fencing - Germany’s Helen Mayer won gold in the foil competition (pictured)

Women also competed in the all-around for gymnastics.

The 1928 Olympics held many firsts that have remained part of Olympic tradition. It was the first in which Greece lead the parade of athletes and the host county was the last to enter. It was the first time the Olympic flame was lit and it was the beginning of the 16-day tradition for the length of the games. It was also the first Olympics to have an official sponsor. Guess who it was. Even back then, Coca-Cola understood the value of marketing and the Olympics.

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