Despite the fact that Title IX ensures female athletes receive the same opportunities as their male counterparts, there are still major discrepancies in pay, facilities and exposure. What’s more, female athletes often come of age discouraged by the prevalence of sexist phrases like “play like a girl,” and the awareness that most people in the sports world somehow expect less of them. So, when female athletes arise who not only challenge, but shatter stereotypes of what women can do, they captivate the entire world. This is a list of those extraordinary women.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee is often referred to as the First Lady of American athletics. She competed in four Olympic Games for the United States from 1984 to 1996, earning medals in both the women’s heptathlon and the women’s long jump. When all was said and done, Joyner-Kersee earned an astounding three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals.
Here, she jumps to her second gold medal in the Seoul Olympic women’s long jump final, September 19, 1988, setting a new Olympic record at 7.40.
By CBS News Staff Writer Christina Capatides