Olympic Numbers #London2012

posted by One Sport Voice
Friday, July 20, 2012 at 8:01am EDT

Dr. Nicole M. LaVoi: This blog reflects my critical eye and voice on all things sport. I am a critical thinker, scholar, and researcher in girls & women in sport, youth sport, and coach & sport parent education.

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A great deal of discussion exists about the historic fact that Team USA female athletes outnumber their male counterparts in the 2012 London Summer Olympics …269 women and 261 men to be exact.

Given 2012 marks the 40th Anniversary of Title IX, this is ironic for a few reasons.

1. As Founder of Women Talk Sports Network, Jane Schonberger points out, media coverage of female athletes in the Olympics has lagged behind participation. If media coverage were to reflect and be in proportion to the % of female athletes, than ~50% of the coverage would given to women’s teams. Perhaps this year coverage will be equal, but based on previous data I am not overly optimistic.

2. While female athletes outnumber males, female head coaches of USA Olympic Teams are a minority. Based on the research of my summer interns (thanks Alyssa & Emma!) and the information available (some of which is unclear, unavailable or can’t be found), the USA Olympic Team has 9 female Head Coaches total (Tennis, T & F, Synchro Swim, Swimming, Soccer, Pairs Rowing, 4′s Rowing, and Table Tennis).  All nine are head coaches of female athletes. Based on this data, less than 30% of the women’s teams and 0% of men’s teams are coached by women. If this data is incorrect please let us know.

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