This year's Summer Olympics is officially being dubbed 'Year of the Woman'. For the first time in history, every national team participating in the Games has female athletes. Even the first lady, Michele Obama, attended the opening.
A record 45% of the athletes representing their countries in this years Summer Olympics are women.
The U.S. delegation, led by Michele Obama, actually has more women than men, with a ratio of 269 women to 261 men. A great example is Claressa "T-Rex" Shields, the 17-year-old middleweight from Flint, Mich., who is the youngest competitor in women's boxing, a new event at the London Olympics. "This is a big moment for women's sports," said Shields.
Russia's team, which is nearly as big, also has a large majority of female participants.
In a historic move, the first female Olympic athletes from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei are on their countries' teams, ending the longstanding practice of sending male-only teams to the Olympics.
Brunei has broken its no-women tradition by sending the runner Maziah Mahusin. “I feel very proud of myself, and I feel honored,” she said. “It’s kind of like being an ambassador for my country.”
On the Daily Herald website, a photo can be seen of Malaysian shooting athlete Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi, who is eight months pregnant. The photo shows her shooting during a training session for the 10-meter air rifle event, at the Royal Artillery Barracks before the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Anita DeFrantz, a former Olympic rower and chair of the International Olympic Committee Women and Sport Commission, announced, "I'm proud to say that the Olympic movement is living up to its own ideals of fair play and mutual respect. All the sports on the program have women and men. I'm very proud where we are now that all the National Olympic Committees in the world will have women Olympians."
However, DeFrantz added there there is still much work to do before women have an equal say in the business of the Games. Apparently the 100-strong International Olympic Committee has only 14 women.
"On the field of play, we are nearly there," she said. "It's in the decision-making sense - in the rooms and halls - that we have more work to be done."
International Olympic Committee president, Jacques Rogge addressed 60,000 spectators and the many thousands of athletes at the Olympics opening ceremony.
He said, "This is a major boost for gender equality."
“You know, it’s a human right. Women have the right to practise sport, they want to practise, they love sport, they are attracted to sport. And we must make sure that barriers are broken down,” he added.
Of course, girls have always known they have the right stuff to compete in the world!