Female Athletes and Title IX

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The U.S. Olympic team is dominating the medal count, and much of that can be credited to a change in a law 40 years ago that promoted more female athletes. We’ll take look at how Title IX helped change the athletic competition landscape not only in Rio but for all female athletes.

TED SIMONS: IN RIO DE JANEIRO THE U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM IS ONCE AGAIN DOMINATING THE COMPETITION, WITH MORE THAN 70 MEDALS, WELL AHEAD OF ITS CLOSEST COMPETITOR. AND THE U S OLYMPIC COMMITTEE SAYS THAT MUCH OF THE CREDIT GOES TO A CHANGE IN THE LAW MORE THAN 40 YEARS AGO. SAMANTHA WITHERWAX REPORTS FROM RIO.

PACKAGE: THE 2016 SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES IS HOME TO 292 FEMALE ATHLETES ON TEAM USA MAKING IT THE SECOND TIME IN HISTORY THAT MORE WOMEN ARE REPRESENTING OUR COUNTRY THAN MEN.

PACKAGE: YEAH, I THINK THE NUMBERS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. THAT'S NOT STOPPING ANY TIME SOON.

PACKAGE: CARRY WALSH JENNINGS ISN'T THE ONLY ONE ATTRIBUTING THE CLIMB TO THE LAW PASSED IN 1972 BANNING SEX DISCRIMINATION AND PROVIDING MEN AND WOMEN WITH EQUAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION IN SPORTS. NPR REPORTED WOMEN WON JUST 23 OLYMPIC MEDALS IN 1972 LESS THAN HALF THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. FAST FORWARD TO 2012 AND IT WAS U.S. WOMAN THAT OUTPACED MEN. ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC DIRECTOR RAY ANDERSON SAID YOU CAN CREDIT TITLE 9.

PACKAGE: SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO FORCE CHANGE IN TITLE 9 WAS A CHANGED THAT FORCE SOME FOLKS TO DO THINGS THEY WOULDN'T DO. ADD MORE WOMEN PROGRAMS, MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN TO COMPLETE AND THE RESULT AGAIN IS THAT MORE WOMEN ARE DOING STUFF AND THEREFORE THE OLYMPIC NUMBERS ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO RISE HOPEFULLY.

PACKAGE: I WAS TOLD I WASN'T ALLOWED TO WRESTLE IN MY MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAM.

PACKAGE: ADELINE GRAY REPRESENTING TEAM USA AS A WRESTLER SAID SHE FELT THE BENEFIT OF TITLE 9 FROM A YOUNG AGE.

PACKAGE: IT IS CRAZY TO ME NOW I AM AN OLYMPIAN AND WENT FROM BEING TOLD I CANNOT DO THE SPORT AT ONE POINT. WITH THAT KIND OF TRANSITION TITLE 9 DEFINITELY HELPED ME. I DON'T THINK A LOT OF US WOULD BE HERE WITHOUT THAT.

PACKAGE: THE PROGRESS MADE OVER THE PASS 44 YEARS SINCE THE PASSAGE OF TITLE 9 IS NOT LOST ON MANY YOUNGER FEMALE ATHELITS WHO KNOW THE LAW HELPED IN PART TO GET THEM WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.

PACKAGE: I NEVER HAVE NOT HAD AN OPPORTUNITY AND THAT'S ALL BECAUSE OF TITLE 9 AND I GREATLY APPRECIATE THAT.

PACKAGE: AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY ANDERSON INSIST IN ADDING SPORTS THAT PROMOTE MALE AND FEMALE ATHLETIC EQUALITY IS THE UNIVERSITY BLUE PRINT FOR FUTURE SUCCESS.

PACKAGE: I BELIEVE SPORTS AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMPETE AT THE COLLEGE LEVEL IS ONE OF THE GREATEST EXPERIENCES IN TERMS OF BUILDING CHARACTER AND LEADERS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO INVEST AS WE CAN AND ENCOURAGE FOLKS TO HELP US ADD PROGRAMS BECAUSE THE VARSITY ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE IS A LIFE ALTERING ONE.

PACKAGE: A PHILOSOPHY THAT SUGGESTS THE NUMBER OF WOMEN COMPETING IN THE OLYMPICS FROM ARIZONA STATE AND TEAM USA WILL CONTINUE TO CLIMB.


TED SIMONS: THERE ARE 147 WOMEN'S SPORTING EVENTS IN THE SUMMER OLYMPICS, REPRESENTING JUST UNDER 50 PERCENT OF THE COMPETITION.


TED SIMONS: WEDNESDAY ON ARIZONA HORIZON. A CONVERSATION WITH ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT MICHAEL CROW ON THE FUTURE OF ASU AND HIGHER EDUCATION. ASU PRESIDENT MICHAEL CROW, ON THE NEXT ARIZONA HORIZON. THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I AM TED SIMMONS AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.
ANNOUNCER: ARIZONA "HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS. MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION, THANK YOU. CLOSED CAPTION PRODUCTIONS WWW.CCPRODUCTIONS.COM 844 335 0911

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